Folkert Kosten (left) and his son, Hederik with Hederik’s Eagle Scout project in Mills Park. | Provided

When the Mills Park Little Free Library (LFL) was destroyed by vandals late last year, the Park District of Oak Park rightly removed it. But the community missed it and continued to leave books on a bench near where the library had been. That, of course, was untenable during the winter months.

So Oak Park Library employee Janet Lorch and I began trying to find someone to build a new library. Janet and I became online, then real, friends through Facebook posts about the vandalized library.

First, Janet and I secured assurance from Superintendent of Parks & Planning Chris Lindgren that he would replace it if we found someone to build it. We also agreed to find people in the community to care for it. Next, we contacted Boy Scout Troop 16 to see if someone in the Troop would be willing to build a library. (The previous library in Mills Park and the one in Austin Gardens were built by Boy Scouts.)

We found Hederik Kosten, a scout who wanted to take on the project to earn his Eagle Scout badge. His father, Folkert, lent his construction expertise. And now we have a gorgeous Little Free Library in Mills Park again. We also have a Facebook group for people interested in its well-being (

Terri Lackey
Oak Park

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