The Community School’s Community Library

Posted by Community Relations staff on 10/12/2020

little library There’s nothing like watching the fruits of your labor come to life. On Thursday, Oct. 8, 10th grader Cody McDaniel learned exactly what that felt like when he wrenched the final screws into his little community library.

The idea for this library sparked last spring, when schools shut down in the early days of the COVID pandemic. Cody, along with his classmates from The Community School, began working on a schoolwide project called “Supporting Communities in Crisis.”

The goal of the project was for TCS students to research past crises and how people stepped up to help their communities. Think victory gardens during WWII. Then students had to come up with their own ideas on how to effectively support their community during this current COVID crisis.

For Cody, the idea was simple.

“With COVID going on, there were no books or libraries, and schools were closed so you couldn’t go into any of those places for books," he said. "I was riding my bike around town and found all these little free libraries, so I decided I’d make one for the school.”

But like any great idea worth pursuing, taking the library from concept to reality prompted some second guessing.

“I stressed out a lot because I didn’t think I had enough resources for it, but eventually I was able to come up with a plan,” he said.

That plan involved a little help from family and friends.

“I had help from my Uncle Dan and there were people from school – like advisors, teachers – that donated wood and supplies and money to help build the project,” he said.

Cody even got a hand from the school’s maintenance workers, who also gathered extra materials and volunteered to help install the library. Fast forward to early October, and Cody’s creation was ready for its big debut.

After hoisting the library onto its metal platform, Cody secured it with his trusty torque wrench. Then came the fun part. With the help of a couple classmates, Cody filled the library with books available for the community to use and peruse.

“I’ll definitely try to keep it restocked," he said. "But I’m hoping that it helps the community step up a little bit, to put things in.”

At the top of the library, Cody built a small compartment where people can leave snacks and other items for whomever may need them.

In the end, Cody is grateful The Community School gave him the opportunity to do something like this.

“You can take whatever idea you have and somehow make it happen," he said. "Like, I just wanted to do a construction project because I was bored, and I was able to turn it into a much bigger project that I can put at the school.”

little library   TCS library  
Cody McDaniel and his finished project.