Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 -- 10:05pm
Inside Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison you'll see pictures of a mini free library. It was built to resemble the church, made out of locally-sourced urban wood, and even had tiny stained glass windows.
"We had a local artist who designed it and a local carpenter who built it” says Pastor Susan Schneider.
But outside, all you'll find is a sign that says “please bring it back” near where the little library once sat. The library was stolen this past Saturday. It was outside the church for less than three months.
“All kinds of people were invested in this and many people have brought books and it just really feels like an effort to increase literacy and it just hurts in many ways” Schneider tells NBC 15.
This isn't the first time thieves have targeted Trinity Lutheran Church. Back in August, pieces of copper were stolen from the church, making it the third time that's happened in the past three years.
"In some ways I can sort of understand that. It's a monetary thing. You can actually sell copper. This library is mostly sentimental in value” says Schneider.
And just like they did when building the library, community members are coming together once again. This time, they're getting the word about the theft about sending emails, posting on social media and handing out fliers in hopes of getting the little library back.
"I do think that one of the gifts of this is to watch the neighbors support us. I mean we try really hard to be a congregation that supports the neighborhood and now it's very satisfying and hopeful to watch the neighborhood supporting us” says Schneider.
The church is offering a reward for the library's return; no questions asked.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the little free library you're asked to call the Madison Police Department. You can also contact the church. Just head to http://tlcmsn.org/ for more information.