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High School Student’s Eagle Scout Project Yields New Little Free Library

Duncan and Marvin

Duncan McDuffie and his father, Marvin McDuffie, stand next to the new little free library Duncan constructed for Hartwell Elementary School at a dedication ceremony.


There’s a new library on campus – thanks to Hart County High School Junior Duncan McDuffie’s Eagle Scout project.

An outdoor book lending library now occupies a small area in front of Hartwell Elementary School after a dedication ceremony was held on Sunday, February 6, 2022, to commemorate the project. The library will allow students to receive and exchange books while school is not in session, such as during the holidays and summer break.

For his Eagle Scout project, Duncan led a group of scouts to construct the library. Some of the skills needed to complete the project are to lead the group, directing the other scouts during construction, and obtaining the materials needed.

“The idea came from Mrs. (Erin) Gaines asking me if I would build a book box for her school, and I thought that was a great idea to do for my Eagle Scout project,” Duncan said at the ceremony.

At the ceremony, Duncan thanked all the sponsors who donated supplies including Home Depot, Harbin Lumber Company, Ford Lumber, as well as several private citizens. The library is a weather-resistant structure designed to mimic the original Hartwell Elementary School. It will be open 24/7 for students to get and trade books, primarily during the holidays and summer months. This will allow each local child to continue reading even during school closures.

Inaugural books were placed in the little free library at the ceremony, and school staff encouraged the public to “take a book, and give a book.”

“When you come by, get a book, but on your next walk by, bring a book back,” Hartwell Elementary School Media Specialist Erin Gaines said.

Duncan is a member of Troop 51 based in Lavonia. He has been a Scout since the 1st grade and has worked hard to obtain this level of rank within the Boy Scouts of America. Only 4% of all Scouts are able to earn the Eagle Scout rank.

Duncan works as an Assistant Scout-Skills Director at Camp Rainey Mountain in Clayton during the summer. He is currently participating in an internship with Haering Precision and hopes to go to Germany after graduation to be educated and trained and bring his skills back to our local area.