North Royalton Boy Scout Evan Porter wanted to share his love of reading while trying to attain the highest rank of the Boy Scout organization – Eagle Scout. He recently completed a Little Free Library at Memorial Park at 14600 State Road. Porter is a member of Boy Scout Troop 526. He officially attained the rank of Eagle Scout on June 11.
The Free Little Library operates on a take a book, return a book exchange. According to the website, “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. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community.”
“Actaully, I chose this project because I have always loved reading,” said Porter. “I always have a book in my hand. I’ve always loved to go to the library. I chose this to get kids to love reading and I thought this would be a good start.”
Porter, who just graduated from North Royalton High School, decided that he would try to attain the Eagle Scout rank the day he started Boy Scouts. He has been in scouting for about twelve years. In order to attain that rank, a project must be completed. “I knew what I wanted to do about a month before I actually started working on it. About two months ago, I decided on the project.” Porter started with a plan, then developed a time line. He then secured donations. “I met with Bob McDougald, Strongsville’s Home Depot Manager, who donated most of the items for the project. The North Royalton Sherwin Williams donated the paint,” said Porter. He also had to obtain permission from the city, so he met with Mayor Bob Stefanik. Porter then made his plan and began work. Evan completed the projects in a little over 60 hours, with the help of his father, brother and friend. He then filled the library with his own books.
The North Royalton Little Library was officially opened in May. It is a waterproof cabinet, mounted on a post, that measures 17 inches x 17 inches x 13 inches, and holds about forty five medium sized books. It is located at the lower pavilion at Memorial Park. It has been completely emptied and has been filled up again with those utilizing the library. Although all book donations are welcome, so far the majority of books donated are for children.
“What surprised me the most is that after I completed everything, how quickly the library went empty and was filled back up and seeing people reading. How much publicity it gained so quickly,” Porter said. His plan is to now register it with the Little Free Library’s national registry. By doing so, anyone searching for free libraries can see there is one in North Royalton. The only other Little Library that is close is in Broadview Heights. Porter said he will be doing that before he heads off to The Ohio State University, where he will be majoring in Computer Science.
Contributing Writer