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Lending Library added at Missouri Headwaters State Park

Over many years backpacking and camping, Patricia Wise said she found herself desperate for something new to read and always appreciated a campground or trailhead that offered reading materials.

"I would trade in my old, dog-eared copy for something new with a sigh of relief," she said.

After starting as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Missouri Headwaters State Park near Three Forks, Wise thought it would be a nice gesture to add a lending library.

Wise approached Park Manager Dave Andrus, who told her it was a great idea.

"We scouted the lending library box in Three Forks as well as some websites to get an idea of how to put it together. A 'super volunteer', Vern Miller took some rough plans and just ran with it from there. He had the box built in a week. I asked some friends to donate books, and we were in business," Wise said.

In a day and age where many use electronic sources for reading, Wise was curious to see how much use the library would get.

She was pleased with the results of the box that was finished this month.

"It was delightful to see that we had almost a complete turnover of books going out and being replaced in just two days. On a cool summer afternoon, people still like to the feel of paper," she said.

The positive feedback included one visitor who Wise said was kind enough to take a couple of group shots while they were putting the box up.

"He said, 'it made his trip' to get to see us put the books in. The trick will be to keep good reading material there. If anyone has books they would like to donate, please have them drop me an email," she said.

 Wise can be reached by email at [email protected].

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