East Helena Boy Scouts build little libraries for rural communities

Posted at 10:14 AM, Jan 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-10 12:54:30-05

HELENA — At the age of 12, Caleb Madsen is building and taking on a leadership role in the Troop 212 Boy Scouts for his Eagle project. He admits doing this at the age of 12 is younger than average, but felt it was great timing.

“Once you get older, you start to lose interest in scouting,” says Caleb Madsen, Troop 212 Life Scout. “So, I thought I might as well get my Eagle scout done fast, while I still have interest."

His interest in this project is that it will give community members more access to books. Caleb and the Boy Scouts are building Little Free Libraries for Lewis & Clark County. The county library says they have over 20 of these libraries in the Helena Valley, but these sheds will have a home in rural communities to help the county in the pandemic.

“We get phone calls on a regular basis asking when we are going to take donated items so that other people can enjoy them. We haven't been able to do that for several months,” says Andrea Eckerson, the East Helena Branch Manager for Lewis & Clark County Library. “This will allow us to do that without being open to the public."

“It sounded like a good project and one that I wanted to do," says Madsen.

This project includes five Little Free Libraries for communities in Lincoln, Augusta, East Helena, and two more that align with the county library bookmobile.

The new Little Free Libraries is hoped to be released during National Library Week beginning April 4th, 2021. The county library plans to fill each shed with books for children, but encourage communities to use the little library to spread information.

The Augusta Library branch used part of their $15,000 grant to help fund this project. The Boy Scouts also received material donations for the build.