My Silver Award Project

Guest Blogger Girl Scout Fiona

For those of you who don’t know, a Little Free Library (LFL) is a free “take a book, return a book” exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. I wanted to do this project to bring a love for reading to the community. In 5th grade, I created an Alexandria Bookshelf inside my elementary school, and I always wanted to extend that to a LFL.

The steps to complete my project were the following:

  • Research
  • Reaching out to my community for help
  • Fundraising
  • Construction and installation
  • Collecting books
  • Writing a blog about the project along the way

Before I began, there were a lot of things I needed to figure out. How to build it? Where would it go? How much would it cost? This took a lot of time, and I had to make calls and have meetings. I had a lot of helpers along the way. Westminster Church provided a location and guidance.  A family friend was my mentor for the construction. I asked friends, troop members and neighbors to help with installation. I recruited neighborhood helpers by calling, emailing, and asking them in person. Family, friends, and my troop members donated books to get it started.

My whole project took about 18 months, almost a year of that was fundraising. In addition to cookies, we had babysitting events, workshops for Brownies, sold gifts at farmers’ markets, and had two yard sales. Including fundraising, my project took about 68 hours to complete (26 hours for fundraising, 42 project hours). It took longer than I expected, due to fundraising and scheduling.

My original plan was to build three libraries using pre-made kits. But when I ordered, the cost of shipping was really expensive so I ended up making one library from scratch. This turned out better because I was able to be more creative and design the library any way I wanted to.

If I were to do this again, I would plan better to use a kit so the construction would take less time. I would be able to make more libraries, but I would need a lot more money. Scheduling was the hardest part, because I had to coordinate my schedule and my mentor. Building the library was the easiest and the most fun. Overall, seeing my library being used has been the most rewarding! Many kids and adults are using it, because it’s near a church, a playground and a preschool. When I check in on it, it is usually overflowing with books so I know lots of people are enjoying it.

About Fiona: I am in 8th grade, and I have been in Girl Scouts since I was a Daisy in first grade. I just finished my Silver Award project, which was building a Little Free Library .