INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - An act of arson is sparking others to provide more reading options. A little free library in Franklin Township is getting replaced and 100 more libraries are coming along with it.
Early Sunday morning, someone burned down a little library on Tom Wagner's property. Wagner said the library was built roughly five years ago and was renovated last month. A bench had been added, making the library a popular place for students after getting off the bus on school day.
Neighbors added several mailboxes in the neighborhood were destroyed during in the same incident.
The news has several in the area working to show the damage hasn't hurt residents the southeastern part of Marion County.
"You’ll get us once, but we won’t stay down for long," said Lillie Beasley. "We’ll bounce back up and we’ll become stronger than ever."
Beasley is one member in the area leading the effort to add more little libraries. A Facebook page, USA Insulation Free Library Community Project, details the plan.
Three area businesses are collecting book donations, including the Arby's at 2130 E. County Line Rd., where Beasley is a general manager.
Other locations so far are:
- Aadvanced Limousines - 8614 Southeastern Ave.
- USA Insulation - 2101 W. U.S. 40, Greenfield
Beasley said other Arby's locations could be added soon.
The goal is at least 1,500 new or slightly used books.
USA Insulation owner, Tim Logue said his office is funding the materials needed to build each new library.
The plan is to hold a community event before Thanksgiving to construct the libraries.
Beasley said it's important to get them in before the start of the holiday season.
"There is going to maybe be one closer to them, so easier access for them," said Aadvanced Limousines general manager Linda Carter.
Leaders behind the project said they know where 20 of the new libraries will go. The others are still to be determined and the group said its talking to the Department of Child Services to find where others should go.
Wagner said he had no idea losing his little library would spark this kind of response from his neighbors.
"Proves while there are some rotten people in this world that they are over trumped by the good," he said.
Wagner said he hoped to rebuild his library within the next month.