Granite Shoals teen builds little libraries for Eagle Scout project

Jonathan Randolph builds little libraries for Eagle Scout project

Arlett Long served as a mentor for Jonathan Randolph, who built three Little Free Library boxes for the city of Granite Shoals as part of his Eagle Scout project. Courtesy photo

An Eagle Scout project is bringing little libraries to Granite Shoals. Boy Scouts of America member Jonathan Randolph built three Little Free Library boxes in Granite Shoals to share his love of reading and benefit his hometown, which has no library of its own. 

The free exchange little libraries are located at City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road; Bluebriar Park, off of North Shorewood Drive; and Crockett Park, at the end of Prairie Creek Road.

“I feel like this is a great opportunity to show everyone the love and joys from reading books,” Randolph said. “Books are a way to education and knowledge. (In Granite Shoals), we need those books, especially for those who aren’t in school anymore.”

The Eagle Scout project is one of many requirements Randolph must fulfill to attain the Scouts’ seventh and highest rank. The Marble Falls High School senior is a member of Troop 284. 

Randolph, who has lived in Granite Shoals “all my life,” said he chose the Little Free Library boxes for a couple of reasons. 

“I wanted to do an Eagle project that would have an impact on the entire community,” he said. “Other scouts have done stuff for their churches. I wanted to do something that would benefit everybody, something everybody could have access to. In Granite Shoals, we don’t have a library. This way, people can find books.”

Randolph said he was inspired to make the library boxes in the shape of little houses after seeing them around Austin. The concept is simple: People leave a book for each one they take or they can donate books they’ve already enjoyed. 

“I’m hoping for all different kinds of books to be placed in them; all genres for all ages,” Randolph said. 

Randolph credited friend Arlett Long for suggesting the little houses, for mentoring him, and for making donations to help get the boxes completed. His grandfather Allen Weir helped him “construct those boxes every step of the way because I’m not very skilled when it comes to construction,” he said. The boxes are 28 inches wide, more than 30 inches tall, and 12 inches deep.

Granite Shoals City Manager Jeff Looney chose the locations based on maximum exposure. 

Looney praised Randolph for seeing and meeting a need in the city.

“He provided a valuable contribution to the community,” the city manager said. “He’s been great to work with, he’s very respectful, and he’s very prepared, very business-like to get everything done.” 

Randolph said he has collected donated books at his home and will distribute them when there’s space available. 

“I hope it gives kids and teens an opportunity to find books outside of school,” Randolph said. “Not everyone wants to go to Marble Falls to visit the library. I hope it’ll draw some people to read books and help them discover a passion for reading.”

Troop 284 meets at 7 p.m. Mondays during the school year at First Baptist Church, 901 La Ventana in Marble Falls. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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