Hesston Public Library building a bigger collection with help of Scouts

Eagle Scout Tool Library
Eagle Scout Tool Library - Trevor and Tyler Baldauf are working in tandem to create a tool collection for Hesston Public Library patrons. Trevor is responsible for collecting tools for the project, while Tyler is coordinating the construction of a shed to house the collection.

HESSTON – Trevor and Tyler Baldauf are working on adding another resource to Hesston Public Library as part of their Eagle Scout project — a tool library, making hand tools available for patrons to check out. A tool drive is being held on June 12, in conjunction with the Hesston Public Library Used Book Sale and the Citywide Garage Sale.
Hesston Public Library Director Melissa Carlson said tool libraries “have been around for a while in other cities” and were added to the Hesston library’s wish list.
“It was really just a big dream on the part of the library staff. When we heard a couple of scouts were looking for an Eagle Scout project, we thought this might be a good way to make that dream come true,” she said.
With the scouts taking on the tool library as a project, Carlson said there will be no out-of-pocket expenses to Hesston Public Library
Taking on the project as a joint venture meant the Baldaufs were able to leverage their collective efforts.
“The project would be a bit too large of a workload for one Eagle project. It would be a lasting project; something that will be there for a long time and have a significant impact on the community,” said Tyler. “It serves the greater purpose and is useful to the community,” added Trevor.
The Scouts are splitting responsibility for the project. Tyler is responsible for obtaining funds for the shed and putting in the order for the pre-built shed with Sturdi-Bilt, installing the shed, and adding guttering to it. Trevor will be putting pegboard on the inside of the shed, and getting the tools.
Carlson said the collection will not include power tools, “But we do encourage people to shop for or rent from our local hardware stores. This is really aimed at needing a tool for a quick project, but wanting, being able to afford or having a place to store these types of tools.”
Trevor and Tyler said the greatest challenge has been securing funding for the project, particularly the shed, which will cost nearly $3,000.
“I haven’t obtained all the funds. I’m short about $200 or so. I’m going to businesses around town and asking for funding – $20-$50 – and with a lot of businesses in town, that should cover the funds if a few of them donate,” said Tyler. Tyler added that he has also applied for a grant from the Hesston Community Foundation to help offset some of the costs.
Trevor secured a $500 grant from the South Central Kansas Library System to help stock tools.
Trevor said he is looking for tools that are infrequently used, “and big-end, clunky tools that would be difficult to store, like stepladders, sawhorses, a wheelbarrow, even some smaller things like hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers.”
Having even simpler tools available for checkout can be a big help to patrons.
“I think back to times when I thought, ‘It would be really helpful to have an extra set of hands to help put this fence up, but that would require extra tools.’ With this new collection, that would be an option for someone to borrow an extra hammer for a weekend,” Carlson said.
Tyler said he is looking forward to seeing tools checked out regularly.
Trevor added, “Seeing the progression is a big motivating factor. And, it’s really fun, especially when you have friends with you.
As aspiring Eagle Scouts, Tyler said having “younger Scouts to mentor” is a large part of the appeal in obtaining his Eagle Scout status.
Carlson said the project has been in the works for the last three to four months, beginning with the approval to put the shed on library property and holding meetings with the Baldaufs.
“We have really left the planning and execution of this project in their hands because an Eagle Scout project should be led by the scout. Being an Eagle Scout mom myself, I know the work it takes for this type of project,” said Carlson.
Carlson said the collection will be available for checkout later this year after being curated and cataloged.

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