Stomper’s bookcase debuts

Stomper is bringing children stories throughout Mankato.

Starting today, three bookcases will be placed at laundromats around town. The project was started after graduate advisor Crystal Watts moved to Mankato and noticed that children’s spaces at laundromats was understocked.

“Children and grownups often have to exist in the same spaces and to have something geared towards them on their level so that they can continue making memories with family members is important,” Watts said. “I remembered seeing another program in southwest Minnesota and I thought that might be fun to introduce here and it might be great to put it in the hands of students.”

After presenting the idea to Greater Area Mankato United Way, Lloyd Lumber supplied materials to build the bookshelves and Capstone Publishing donated over 300 books.

Watts reached out to student volunteers to see who was interested. Fraternity Sigma Nu decided to step up and take on the challenge. They’re responsible for maintaining the upkeep of the bookshelves, rotating out the books and making sure the shelves are stocked. 

The bookcases are located at Stadium Laundry, Laundry Max and The Washboard in North Mankato.

Watts said she hopes student groups step on to run their own bookcase. 

“I would love to walk student groups through the process of what it means to partner with other community organizations and to think beyond what it means to be a maverick,” Watts said.

If students wish to get involved, they can head to the Community Engagement Office to learn more. 

Header photo: Members of Sigma Nu stand next to a bookshelf they built. These shelves will be placed in laundromats around Mankato. (Photo courtesy of Crystal Watts)

Write to Emma Johnson at

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