East Pike Lending Library, a lovely building with a special story


For the first time my husband and I took part in the Pike County Fall Color Drive. One of the towns along this gloriously beautiful countryside was the small burg of Detroit. We checked out a bake sale, a doll collection and spied a lovely old brick building with a table of books outside.

Curious I was drawn in by the beauty of the old building that Susan Manker and other residents have converted to a library for the community. The building was sold in the mid 1800’s and was once a grocery store and many other things.

Susan said that the community with a whopping population of around 83 was in need of a place where kids could see books for free without having to pay a fee, late library rates or drive a distance. So Susan and other community members collected donations to fill the shelves after revamping this old, lovely building and started a library for the town. It was interesting looking through a book that a friend had made for Susan and the other volunteers showing them tackling dry wall, building shelves and creating the library with nothing but guts and determination.

“This summer kids were here every day,” Susan said adding that for many this is the only connection to the Internet they have available. Many students come in to use the computers for homework.

Since Susan is a teacher she knows all about the needs for Internet and reference materials. The shelves are filling, the building lovely and the library reverberates with good intentions and success. As an author of children’s farm books along with Jane Aumann who is also a teacher, we were quite touched by the efforts Susan and her friends went to bringing the dream of a reading sanctuary to the children and residents of Detroit and surrounding towns

According to their Facebook page, “The East Pike Lending Library is located in Detroit, IL and is in the beginning stages of becoming a free library to the residents of Detroit and the surrounding communities.”

Susan wrote on their page that during their first year of operation from October 2013 to October of 2014 that 1,336 people came though their door. To find out more about this fun stop, log onto https://www.facebook.com/groups/1377684589121105/.