Renee Montague started the Blerd Box to provide new diverse books to underserved communities . The word Blerd means a Black Nerd. Renee started stepping outside of her comfort zone when she was diagnosed with and survived cancer twice. During her recovery time, she came up with the Blerd Box to combine her love of reading and community service.
When Renee initially started the Blerd Box, she used books from her own personal collection and paid for books out of pocket to make it possible for community kids to “see themselves on the shelves.”
While participating in events, Renee also provides puzzles, coloring books, crayons, bookmarks and stickers. The Blerd Box maintains one of the largest collections of diversity themed books in the community as well as being one of the most visited Little Free Library locations in Hagerstown. During the past year, over 2000 books have been shared. Renee receive Thank You notes and comments from readers all across the county that show the difference being made by showing the love of reading.
The Blerd Box has also recently partnered with a Black owned juice bar to set up a book nook and started the ‘Books and Beets Book Club.’