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Girl Scouts install mini-libraries in Kenly

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KENLY — Girl Scout Troop No. 4160 has erected three “Little Free Libraries” and placed them for use by the public at Kenly-Lincoln Park, in Grady Park and at the Kenly Parks and Recreation Center.

The library boxes are constructed of wood with a waterproof roof and are mounted atop a post similar to certain bird-feeder designs.

Conestoga Wood Specialties of Kenly built the little libraries for the girls with custom fabricator Jerry Braswell and project coordinator Travis Westphal leading the way.

Wade Troutman of Kenly Hardware provided all raw materials needed for the project including lumber, posts, plywood and paint. Kenly resident Joseph Runyon also helped dig the holes for the posts.

Scouts painted the libraries incorporating he trefoil design on the front to represent the Girl Scouts organization.

The troop includes girls ranging in age from kindergarten through fourth grade. Co-leaders are Kathy Forbes and Amber Morey.

Forbes said the idea for the Little Free Libraries came about when the group was discussing potential service projects in a recent meeting after the girls had read about other troops building library boxes.

“One of the main motivations in girl scouting is to be a leader and set an example in the community where they live,” said Forbes.

According to Forbes, the plan is for the girls to provide the books to stock the libraries from their personal collections initially and to remain responsible for keeping books stocked and available to the community in each box.

Forbes said the concept for the little libraries is to “take a book, share a book, leave a book, read a book” and everyone, not just children, is welcome to participate.

After finishing books that have been borrowed, users can return them to the little libraries for others to read. There is no fee or costs for the service.

The Kenly Public Library was contacted about the project and librarian Betty Pope said she supports the idea and has offered to provide the troop with extra books if a surplus is available for pickup and distribution.

“The troop has learned the values of collaborating with business to develop a project that benefits Kenly and its citizens and the community will benefit by being shown by example that small projects have a large impact on little minds,” said Forbes.

The scouts met May 25 at the little library in Grady Park to formally dedicate all three of the Little Free Libraries and announce they are “open for business,” said Forbes.