Little Library on the Lake History

The Little Library on the Lake is the latest addition to the Lorain Public Library System. It is a 20-foot long, 8-foot wide, 9-foot tall refurbished cargo container that has been remodeled into a sleek new structure in a collaboration between LPLS, the Lorain County Metroparks and the city of Lorain in 2020.

The container is modeled after the Cleveland Public Library’s Book Box, which sits on the beach at Edgewater park as part of a partnership between CPL and the Cleveland Metroparks.

“We wanted to find a way to bring a similar experience but adapt it for our community,” LPLS CEO Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz said. “The library and the Lorain County Metroparks wanted a way to expand the Go Lorain bike share and provide items that the community can check out to encourage active living and help them take advantage of the park and the city of Lorain.”

“When Anastasia approached us with the idea of installing the Little Library on the Lake at Lakeview, one of our most popular and well visited parks, we immediately embraced it,” said Jim Ziemnik, Director of Lorain County Metro Parks. “It presents a wonderful opportunity to provide access to the library’s expanded services to a greater number of our residents. With the added benefits of having this located on the shores of Lake Erie, thereby increasing appreciation of our natural resources in Lorain County, we could not be more pleased to collaborate with LPLS on this exciting addition.”

Rustbelt Welding Company, a local Cleveland company, was hired to retrofit the container. They started by making custom bicycle frames, which led to some creative bike racks. In turn, this evolved into covered bike parking made from decommissioned cargo containers called Bike Boxes and then the Book Box. The Little Library on the Lake is only the second of its kind in Ohio.

Once Rustbelt was done, the container was sent via flatbed truck to Pro Auto Wraps in Wadsworth where it got its new exterior and from there it was sent to Lorain and gently placed on to the beach.

The library applied for a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the State Library of Ohio to provide funds to purchase the equipment that will be part of the collection, which is not what one would typically find in a library. This location houses various games and sports equipment such as bocce ball and horseshoes, soccer balls and pop-up goals, tennis rackets and badminton sets, bird-watching kits, stargazing kits and bikes, helmets and bike locks. All items are available to be checked out using your LPLS library card.

Click here to view the branch announcement video