Eagle Scout installs "Little Free Libraries" at Tidelands Health hospitals, other locations along Waccamaw Neck
This story is one for the books – literally.
It’s about the son of a Tidelands Health physician and his Eagle Scout project to spread the written word with free books.
“I got the idea from my middle-school librarian,” said Clay Register, 18, son of Dr. Chris Register, an emergency medicine physician at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. “I love to read, and when I needed an Eagle Scout project, I knew this was it.”
Register recently erected Little Free Libraries at six locations along the Waccamaw Neck, including two at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital - one in the hospital’s west courtyard and the other at the Bridge of Peace - and one at Tidelands Georgetown.
The little libraries look like little wooden houses with steep roof lines and see-through doors that swing open and shut. Perched on a pole at about chest level, the libraries house books of various kinds that are free for the taking.
“Little Free Libraries is a national nonprofit agency with more than 50,000 libraries,” Register explained. “It aims to inspire a love of reading and build a sense of community. It was the perfect project for me.”
Each little library contains books for varied reading interests and for every reading level, he added.
“The books are free,” he said. “Return them if you can or donate your own books. No checking out. No checking in. No strings attached.”
Register financed his project with donations he collected from family and the local community, plus matching funds from the Pawleys Island Rotary Club.
A resident of Pawleys Island, Register attends Wando High School in Mount Pleasant. He joined the Boy Scouts in elementary school in Virginia, moving to the Pawleys Island area four years ago. He hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and eventually become, like his father before him, a flight surgeon.
Though this Eagle Scout project was Register’s, he stressed the help he received from friends Gabriel Rollins, Banks Ward, Jake Birchmeir and Jacob LaRochelle, as well as many other members of Boy Scouts Troop 360 in Pawleys Island, was instrumental in helping him achieve his goal.
In addition to the locations at Tidelands Waccamaw and Tidelands Georgetown, Register has also installed Little Free Libraries at North Litchfield beach access No. 54, Pawleys Island and Teach My People, a Christian outreach program for at-risk youths on the Waccamaw Neck.