Photo by Andrew Jackson/KEIZERTIMES

Grant Gerstner of Keizer collected more than 8,000 items for the Keizer Community Library for his Eagle Scout project.

Gerstner, 15, a sophomore at McNary High School and a member of Troop 67, collected books and other library items by placing drop boxes Keizer True Value Hardware, Roth’s Fresh Market and the Keizertimes.  He also distributed flyers and talked to friends and strangers alike to solicit donations to his project.

By the end of the project on Saturday, Oct. 30, Gerstner had collected 6,746 books (fiction and non-fiction), 909 VHS tapes, 85 CDs, 235 DVDs, 46 cassette tapes and 104 books on tape.  He also raised $80 in cash.  All the items will be donated for use or for a future book sale by the Keizer Community Library.  More than 200 hours were spent on the project.

At the outset Gerstner expected to collect about 5,000 items.  He said he was “definitely surprised” when the final tally came to more than 8,000 items.

Local businesses helped the future Eagle Scout.  Mark DeWilde of Select Impressions printed more than 3,000 flyers that Gerstner distributed while Rick and Iva Curry of Budget Rent-a-Space provided a storage unit to hold the collected books.

Art Burr, executive director of the community library said that the library board will decide whether to hold a special book sale with the windfall from Gerstner’s project or hold them for the annual spring sale during the Iris Festival in May.

Gerstner is the son of Phil and Shan Gerstner.