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Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois announced that Amber Haantz, of Marion, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award — the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she created a standalone free library while attending Indooroopilly High School in Brisbane, Australia.

To help students have more access to books, Haantz created a plan and met with school administrators to propose creating a new library. Next, she assembled a team of teachers and students and assigned each volunteer a role. The team then built the library by deconstructing recycled furniture and rebuilding into new bookshelves. Next, they stocked the library with pre-owned literature from around the globe.

Haantz set up a system that allowed students to borrow, keep, trade or donate to the library. Last, she led her volunteer team to host a week’s worth of book-inspired events to promote the library’s opening.

“It’s a really amazing feeling to build something with your own hands,” Haantz said in a news release.

Amber is the daughter of James and Sandy Haantz. She graduated from Indooroopilly High School in 2018 and plans to attend college in the coming year.

— The Southern

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