(Pictured – The Mayor’s Youth Council surround one of the Little Libraries at the Welcome Center. Left to Right: Douglas Foster, Briana Hensley, Eva Savage, Maddy Maedel, Brett Boswell, Stephen Ansong, David Eason, Patrick Savage | Behind – Jennifer Eason | Kneeling – Daryn Nowlin and Loralei Jaeckel.)
Need a book … give a book … get a book. The Mayor’s Youth Council’s (MYC) newest project – The Little Free Library – is that simple. Two Little Libraries are currently located in Lamoni – one at the Welcome Center and the other at the United Methodist Church | Food Pantry. Books are available to anyone to trade one book for another at each location. “We decided that not everyone gets a chance to own a book or might not be able to go to the library,” Dixie Dykens, who is a sophomore in her second year on the council, said.
The purpose of the Mayor’s Youth Council is to give young people in the community a greater knowledge and appreciation for city government and community leadership through active leadership and involvement. “Young people are an important part of our community,” Mayor Doug Foster said. “We need to know what’s meaningful to them so we can provide social, educational, cultural, and recreational programs that respond to them. The Mayor’s Youth Council gives city leadership an open window on what they are thinking – and what’s worthwhile for them.”
The MYC ordinance calls for five to seven representatives chosen by the mayor and an advisory committee with appointments going to City Council for final approval. “The Mayor’s Youth Council is formally included in the Lamoni Code of Ordinances. It has specific assignments and duties,” Foster said. “The students understand this and are very conscientious about their responsibilities. In fact, because of their active involvement in the past, we’ve expanded the number of participants this year to 23”
The idea for the little libraries came to the MYC from Hannah Gruich, senior ang fourth year member, a couple years ago. It germinated over time. “I thought it sounded like a neat idea,” Jennifer Eason, who is this year’s MYC Chairperson and a four-year member, said. “The council agreed to back the idea so we went to Graceland Leadership Day and presented it. We received a $500 grant.” Leo, Eva, and Patrick Savage constructed the two libraries. Hannah Gruich, Dixie Dykens, and Jennifer Eason painted them. Finally, the city installed them. “I really liked the idea because, although we have a public library, it gives people the option to give as well as receive,” Austin Davis, senior and second-year member, said. “And the locations we chose are public places that people are frequently visiting.”
“Hopefully the council gives members a sense of community through their direct involvement in projects like the Little Library,” Foster said. “I’ve enjoyed interacting with these students for a number of years. I’ve watched them grow. I’ve seen their energy turn into enthusiasm for our community. I think they show a lot of pride in their community and how they contribute to making it better.”
“I like being on the Mayor’s Youth Council because I love helping people and like working with this group of people,” Briana Hensley, who is a junior and first-year representative, said.
You must be logged in to post a comment.