The former Backus School, now Foothills Christian Academy, is the host of a small lending library.

Donna Chastain, first, second and third grade teacher with Foothills Christian Academy, thought the school and city residents could use a library.

"I haven't really seen that many," Chastain said. "I've just heard of other people on social media putting them in their yards. It's great for neighborhoods that don't have a library and neighborhoods that are walkable. That fits Backus pretty well, so I just thought it would be a nice thing to have so people could get more books to read."

The new lending library at the Foothills Christian Academy in Backus currently has mostly children's books, but eventually more options should be available. Photo Submitted March 2021
The new lending library at the Foothills Christian Academy in Backus currently has mostly children's books, but eventually more options should be available. Photo Submitted March 2021Submitted Photo (March 2021)

There are other lending libraries in the area, including some east of Highway 371 or at Bites Grill & Bar in Pine River, but this is the first that Chastain knows about inside the city of Backus.

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There have been several contributors to the idea, including Don Stevens, of Emily. Stevens, a staff member and administrator at the school, constructed the box for the books.

For now the two-shelf box has been filled with children's books from the attached thrift store, Threads for Ed. Eventually there should be more books appropriate for older readers.

At this and other lending libraries, the policy is generally to leave a book in exchange for the book you borrow. The new Backus Book Box is fortunate to be able to replace books if they are not returned thanks to the thrift store.

The box was installed Thursday, March 25, and opened the same day. It's located at the school's south entrance.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.