Lending library project beneficial to community

Literacy and community are getting a boost in Columbus thanks to the efforts of Emma Boas.

The Columbus North High School student created for her senior project a free book-lending library at Heritage Woods Apartments, which is part of Columbus Housing Authority.

It’s a great idea.

The premise is simple. Boas modeled her project after “The Little Free Library” concept, which provides a gathering place for people to share their favorite books. Typically, the library is housed in an outdoor box to protect the books. People in the community can pick up a book and then drop one off, all on the honor system.

Boas introduced the library a few days after Thanksgiving. It’s been so popular that the initial stock of 200 books ran out in about a month.

The fact that some residents have been donating books to replace the ones they borrow suggests that they have a vested interest in the success of the lending library, and want to ensure other residents to benefit. That fosters a sense of community.

More importantly, the lending library aids literacy. Books in the library range from children’s to teen fiction to adult novels. Providing children with access to books is an important way to increase their literacy levels. That’s all the more important because of socioeconomic factors that serve as barriers to greater educational attainments and job prospects.

Boas’ project is a good example of the importance of senior projects and the impact they can have.

Equally important, it provides a template that’s worth replicating.