You see them all over — little free libraries, adorned with the motto: “Take a Book, Leave a Book,” now one has become the Eagle Scout project of Alexander Nunes of Hanson, who is a member of Whitman’s Troop 59.
Lowe’s donated all the $640 worth of construction materials needed for the project.
“Since they donated the materials, I didn’t need to do fundraising,” he said. Nunes said he isn’t certain of the date for his upcoming Eagle Court of Honor yet, as he is still working to finish his last two merit badges — including hiking.
The project, worked on by a few fellow Scouts and adults who wielded the power tools, took about a month to construct.
“We could only get people together on the weekends, and there were a lot of small details,” he said. “It was well done.”
The kiosk is already in place ad being used, Nunes said, noting he doesn’t have a particular dedication ceremony planned.
“I just wanted to see if people would use it, and luckily, they are using it and enjoying it,” he said, noting that the public has been using it respectfully.
Nunes’ project is one of the Little Free Library [littlefreelibrary.org] non-profit (officially earning its 501(c) 3 designation in 2012) projects across the country. His project is posted at the Head Start building across the street from Whitman Park, looking like a trim, miniature house, painted white to match the Head Start building.
“There’s been a lot of them popping up and I thought one would be good to place near the park,” Nunes said in an interview last week. “I collected donations from anyone willing to give books.”
From here on out, Nunes said he will re-stock it occasionally if it gets too low, but it’s operated on the honor system of take a book/leave a book.
In some places the little free libraries had been stocked with new books, only to be cleaned out by thieve and needing to be completely restocked.
Despite the location in front of the Head Start building, the books weren’t specifically geared toward any particular age group.
He said the design of the miniature building his little free library, as well as the paint job, were meant to represent the town and the style of houses in the area.
The design of the kiosks is in keeping with the origin of the original Little Free Library built by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisc., in 2009 — a model of a little red one-room schoolhouse in tribute to his mother, a teacher who loved to read. According to the littlefreelibrary.org site, he built more for neighbors and friends who loved the original and a friend, Rick Brooks of UW-Madison, joined the project.
“They were inspired by community gift-sharing networks, ‘take a book, leave a book’ collections in coffee shops and public spaces, and most especially by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie” the website states.
Brooks and Bol set out to surpass the 2,508 Little Free Libraries — the number Carnegie sought to fund across the English-speaking world. They surpassed that goal in August 2012, a year and a half before their target date. By the end of 2012, there were more than 4,000 of the officially chartered Little Free Libraries in existence, up from 400 the year before.