Scouts build shed for library's Minden Branch

Scouts and their helpers built a shed behind the Minden Branch of the Douglas County Public Library.

Scouts and their helpers built a shed behind the Minden Branch of the Douglas County Public Library.

Local Boy Scout Troop 495 recently helped the Friends of the Douglas County Public Library realize a dream once thought to be out of reach.

The all-volunteer Friends of the DCPL help support library programming in part through seasonal used book sales. All of the sale proceeds go toward library programs including Summer Reading, Baby Lap-Sit, Cosmic Ink Teen & Tween Writing Group, Adult Crafter’s Club, Free Saturday movie screenings, and more.

Friends member Chris Sanchez said that in past years, the organization has kept donated books and sale supplies in an onsite shed they share with the library. As book donations outsized the space allotted in the shed, Friends members would load boxes of items into their cars and take them to a locally rented storage unit. When it came time for a sale, Friends members then rented a truck to haul books back to Minden for the event.

Looking for ways to streamline this process, the organization researched the purchase of a new shed that could withstand the harsh Nevada elements. In addition to paint, the shed required pouring of a concrete slab, all of which quickly added up to a cost-prohibitive project.

Not to be deterred, Library Director Tim DeGhelder reached out for help and connected with Debbie Wood, Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 495.

Wood has been the troop’s Scoutmaster for the past 6 years. She is enthusiastic about her role in providing direction and support to youth and the many opportunities that scouting provides.

After she shared the Friends’ storage situation with the troop, Boy Scout Nic Mahler decided to dedicate his 2023 Eagle Scout Service Project to the task and enlisted support and assistance from his fellow scouts.

As project leader, Mahler oversaw the planning and a development of the new construction, which included prepping and laying a pad for the shed’s placement, painting the structure, and building a walkway to allow safe, smooth, and clean access to the unit while managing heavy book carts. Mahler also solicited donations from Genoa Trees & Landscape Materials and Home Depot to help bring his vision to fruition.

Wood said Mahler’s initiative combined with the efforts of troop members and other adult volunteers/leaders made the project possible.

“There’s no way we could have done this without them,” she said.

Sanchez praised the scouts’ spirit of “working smarter, not harder,” and expressed gratitude for the many hours they volunteered for the project.

She said, “Their work made all the difference in achieving our goal financially…the job the scouts did was huge and the Friends team are so appreciative.”

Another Friends member, Dianne Deadrich, expressed her joy at being able to haul books to the shed along the “beautiful new walkway” and park the book cart right in front of the shed’s doorway.

“No rocks or mud to battle with,” she said. “Hooray for that.”

Sanchez said the success of the Friends of the DCPL is made possible “through community support with Friends membership, generous book donations, and enthusiastic shoppers.” Book donations are welcomed throughout the year, and donors are kindly asked to be selective in choosing new or gently used items to add to the book sale supply. Donations are accepted at the Minden Library, 1625 Library Lane, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. Visit for more information.

Geminids peak tonight

December skywatchers are in for a seasonal treat with Wednesday's peak of the annual Geminids meteor shower.

There won’t be much natural light to take away from meteor hunting, as there’s just a sliver of new moon that will set in the early evening hours. However, the partly cloudy skies and freezing temperatures predicted for tonight could pose a challenge.

The Geminids result from Earth’s passing through the debris trail of the space object 3200 Phaethon, which acts like a comet but is actually an asteroid. As these asteroid bits come into contact with Earth’s atmosphere, they disintegrate and form meteors, or “shooting stars.”

Geminids meteors were thought to be caused by dust from 3200 Phaethon’s tail, but recent research has revealed that the asteroid’s tail is made of sodium gas. Read more about this celestial curiosity here:

The Geminids are active Nov. 19 through Christmas Eve. If the weather cooperates, bundle up and head outside anytime starting around 9 p.m., and find an open space away from other light sources. Scan the darkness with a soft gaze to hopefully spot a shooting star.

Amy Roby can be reached at


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