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Hamilton Local School District News Article

Book Boxes Promote Safe Book Exchange Throughout the Community

Throughout the Hamilton School District, you may have seen little wooden structures popping up with loads of books in them. These boxes work as a free book exchange where the community can come together to not only share books, but share an escape from reality during these tough times. 

Middle School Street by HLS Administrative OfficesHamilton’s own Karen Schutte, Library Media Specialist at the Elementary School, is the driving force behind the Community Book Boxes. Karen realized that there was a need in the community for kids to be able to get books and that not everyone has access to the internet or transportation to the library. 

“The Book Boxes are there for the community” states Karen, “Even if you don’t have a book to leave, that’s fine too! We want kids to be reading, we want to spread the love of reading - that’s what it’s all about.” 

When the Book Boxes began, they were tailored to students from K-6 grades, however over the past 18 months some books have been included to fit different age ranges, including a few that are appropriate for adults. Aside from books, Karen also likes to include smaller activities students can do, such as bookmarks or pages to color. 

Recently, the book boxes have become more than just little libraries for the community. During the beginning of COVID, there were food bins next to a couple of the community boxes to provide those in need with non-perishable snacks. And while the book boxes are usually very self-sufficient, Karen has taken an extra step to keep the boxes safe for everyone that may come in contact with them. In every Community Book Box there are wipes and sanitizer provided to encourage the community to wipe a book down when you borrow it, and wipe it down again when you return it.  

Village of Lockbourne at Lockbourne United Methodist Church“The mark of a good book is that you don’t want it to end because you’ve gotten to know those characters so well, and that book has taken you to some place else for a little while.” expressed Karen; “You’ve made a connection with those characters - making that connection with a character makes it feel like a friend. There is a quote that says ‘books take you somewhere when there’s nowhere else to go,’ and I think that is especially relevant for the times we are experiencing.” 

Residents of the community are encouraged to pick up a book - or two or three - to take home and enjoy. Community members may also place any books they would like to share with their community in the boxes, or bring donations to the Hamilton Elementary School (Attn: Karen Schutte). For more questions about the book boxes, please reach out to Karen by email at [email protected] 

A special thank you to the following community members that have helped grow the Community Book Box initiative: 

Violet Callahan and Girl Scout Troop #6091; Amanda and Levi Corney with Cub Scout Troop #526; Bethany Moore; Heather Swint; Megan Campbell; Lockbourne United Methodist Church; K&M Market; Reese Chapel; Southpointe Village; Hamilton Elementary PTO; Sam Youngman; Elmer and Goldia Everts; Pastor Richard Match; Eric Loy and the Industrial Technology students; Dennis Schutte and U.S. Hydraulic Services.

Corner of Service Drive and Edgeview

 4267 Sestos Drive in Hamilton Lakes North





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