Leadership in action: Girl Scouts construct free library

Left to right are Abigail Roy, Piper Lawrence and Gracie Williams. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – Three young ladies from Girl Scout Troop 10288 recently completed their Silver Award Project and in doing so installed a Little Free Library in West Point. Abigail Roy, Gracie Williams and Piper Lawrence installed their project at West Point Elementary School. The library is stocked with books for children, teens and adults.

The three teens worked hard coming up with an idea for their project.

Roy explained, “We all really enjoy reading or knowing that people have access to it. We think it was really important for after-school hours and during the summer where they could read and have access to literature.”

She added, “To start it off, we started with a lot of young adult (books) because they vary so widely. We added a few adult and a few children’s books. The idea of it is for people to put one in as they take one out so that it is self-sustaining, and it always has books in it.”

The little library started with a variety of books including some from the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series and other teen favorites and The Bible. The library has been up for a few weeks now and the girls were thrilled to see it remains stocked.

“That’s exciting!” exclaimed Williams.

When asked if they would be adding any Harry Potter books, Lawrence laughed, “We are all too attached to our Harry Potter books.”

She added, “If you read a book, you are done with it, but with this, you can turn it back in and grab another book and exchange it out. So, you are never without something you haven’t already read.”

Researching, planning, building and installing the library took the girls at least a month to complete. Roy said that the trio visited other little libraries and food pantries to learn the pros and cons of each one’s design. After noticing that many were made of wood and in need of repair, the girls began looking into alternative building materials. The school itself expressed a little concern about the upkeep of the library, but the girls found a solution.

“It’s actually made out of PVC,” said Roy. “We decided to try and pick more durable supplies to make it out of, so we chose this PVC-looking wood. It never needs painting.”

Roy and Williams, both freshmen, will now begin work on their gold project as they move up to senior and ambassador level Girl Scouts. The gold projects will be individual service projects.

Said Williams, “I’ve thought about mine, but I’m not sure yet. I do have a few ideas though.”

Lawrence is in eighth grade and will be a senior Girl Scout next year.

Roy’s father, John Roy, said, “They learned about the tools and everything when they did all the cuts. They used nail guns, power drills and everything.”

The girls will earn woodworking badges for their efforts.

Abigail Roy is the daughter of John and Mindy Roy and attends West Point High School. Gracie Williams is the daughter of John and Lana Williams and she is homeschooled. Piper Lawrence is the daughter of Jason and Carol Lawrence and is also homeschooled, but she is a member of the West Point High School marching band.

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