Gail Aldridge of the Oregon City Women's Club helps install a free lending library at Rivercrest Park

Gail Aldridge of the Oregon City Women's Club thought it'd be great to install a free lending library at Rivercrest Park, so she emailed Matt Miller, the teacher of the construction class at Oregon City High School, thinking she could pay to have an outdoor bookshelf made.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Oregon City Women's Club member Gail Aldridge celebrates with Jason Thompson of the Oregon City Parks Department after he installed a lending library at Rivercrest Park."It was just serendipitous that, on the day that I contacted him, he and his class were building a bunch of them," Aldridge said.

Miller insisted that the students would donate their time and materials at no charge to the city. Aldridge rounded up books from her personal library and donations from other Oregon City Women's Club members to fill the lending library's shelves. With the tennis courts and lots of other activities at the park, Aldridge said that the lending library already is getting a lot of use, with people donating as well as taking freely.

"People just walk by, and if they see something they like, they take it," Aldridge said. "The whole idea is to promote literacy and to get books into people's hands."

Aldridge chose Rivercrest Park for the lending library because it's surrounded by houses and there are a lot of eyes on it to make sure it stays safe. The Oregon City Parks Department found what she thinks is the ideal spot for the bookshelf under the trees and installed it this month at no charge.

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