Clifton Eagle Scout Candidate Brian Castro Builds Little Libraries In Clifton Parks


Brian Castro, a Clifton Eagle Scout candidate with Troop 23 has set up “Clifton Little Libraries” in several Clifton parks, where residents and park visitors can share books for free.

Brian worked together with Girl Scout Maria Calvi, who was completing her Gold Award. Together they came up with the idea of making the libraries after considering different projects options within Clifton. Brian and Maria built 2 Little Libraries, in Albion Park and Chelsea Park, with a third to be installed in Main Memorial Park.

Brian explained, “The whole purpose of this project is to serve the community and help out people who maybe don’t have the same privileges to have enough books to read.” He continued, “I also wanted to provide another activity for kids to do while being in the park.” Brian chose the project to fulfill his Eagle Scout requirement to complete a project that impacts the community in a positive way. Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America program, with only 4% of Scouts achieving the rank after a long review process. 

Troop 23 has over a 70-year tradition in Clifton; more than 70 scouts from Troop 23 have attained the rank of Eagle Scout, dating back to 1953.  Brian has been part of the troop for 7 years.  He credited his Scout Master, John Wellins, and the other adult leaders for their guidance and help on the Little Libraries project and referred to the troop as his “second family.” He also expressed his thanks to Debbie Oliver, Director of the Clifton Recreation Department, for providing the opportunity to setup the little libraries within Clifton parks.

Brian Castro and Troop 23 leaders at work on the Clifton Little Libraries project, photo credit: B.Castro
Members of Troop 23 Working on the Clifton Little Library project, Photo credit: B.Castro

Little libraries have sprung up in parks across the country since 2009, when a nonprofit organization “Little Free Library” was founded as a “take a book, return a book” free exchange and promoted as a way to share books for free within communities. Little libraries come in many different shapes and sizes and are intended to reflect the personality of their community over time. The organization works through a global network of volunteers with a mission to “build community, inspire readers and expand book access for free.”

To read more about the Little Free libraries organization click here. Visit Brian and Maria’s Clifton Little Libraries in Albion, Chelsea and Main Memorial Parks and bring a favorite book to share!

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