MONTPELIER — When brainstorming an Eagle Scout project, Jaret Dye wanted it to somehow involve reading— a favorite activity of Dye’s.
So, when someone in Troop 1125 suggested putting up free libraries around town, he jumped on the idea, especially hoping the project could help needy children in the community.
The libraries are basically boxes propped up on a post with a hinged and windowed door for people to open and see books inside.
From there, it operates much like a take a penny, leave a penny dish at a convenience store, but with books.
“You can take a book, you can just leave a book,” Dye said. “It’s pretty much up to anyone who comes. It’s completely community driven ... The idea is just to let it work itself.”
He installed three of the libraries: one at the Children’s Garden at Montpelier’s municipal park, close to Montpelier Gardens; one at the Holiday City Village Hall, 13918 County Road M; and one at the Montpelier Nazarene Church, 401 W. Brown Road.
“I just want to play to all ages for these things and make books more available to people, especially since a lot of these lower-income housing kids may not be able to go to the library,” he said. “They may not want to walk across the bridge, it’s pretty far. And, it’s a good place to recycle books.”
The libraries came from the Little Free Library company.
“By doing that, we’re able to have them registered and such to say they are here,” Dye said. “They came in kits and the kits went on sale for cheaper than we could build from scratch.”
The painted kits turned out nice, he said.
“I think it was well worth the money and especially the community impact I’m hoping to have,” he said.
By getting the libraries and registering through Little Free Library, Dye said their locations will pop up on a map on the company’s website: littlefreelibrary.org.
Dye’s projects haven’t been added to the website, yet, but they will appear alongside other Little Free Library locations in the county, situated at Trinity Place, 3570 Ohio 576, just west of Bryan, and one registered at 714 E. North St., in West Unity.
He said he wanted to wait until he had the libraries filled before he registered them.
The books came from a couple of places, including Little Free Library, which provided books with his purchase, and a few people Dye knew who had books they could donate.
Dye finished the project about a week ago and is working on completing his final Eagle Scout paperwork to submit to the Black Swamp Area Council. He has about a month to submit the paperwork to the council.
Montpelier Village Administrator Jason Rockey was excited for the project.
“Jaret approached the park board about installing one at the community park and everyone there thought it was a great idea,” he said. “I think they all look great and I think it’s a very good project for him.”
With all the different media that people have for reading through audio books and e-books, Rockey said this was a great way to get physical books in people’s hands.
“It promotes the reading of actual paperback and hardback copy,” he added. “I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m glad he chose the Village of Montpelier and our parks to be a part of that project.”