LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Little Free Libraries inspire readers and build community. Share and care are two parts of what makes them successful. But both of those ideals were shattered this weekend in Trumbull County.
Lordstown Village Park is quiet, serene and clean — its flowing creek can take your mind off things. But take a closer look and you can see books in the creek. Dean Fender was taking his normal walk on Sunday and found them around 4 p.m.
“I come down here and saw all the books in the creek and that’s when I took pictures of it,” Fender said.
His wife put the pictures on social media. The scattered books came from the Little Free Library box at the water’s edge. Ron Hickox, with the Lordstown Parks Department, was notified.
“It’s a heartbreaker just to see what a few people have done just to discredit it,” Hickox said.
The book box carries a decorated stone that reads, “Ours is a circle of friends united by ideals.” It’s a quote from Juliette Gordon Low — Daisy as she was known. She founded the Girl Scouts in 1912. The vandals were certainly unfriendly and didn’t adhere to any ideals.
“I am surprised. I am surprised because it’s a clean little park. Everybody enjoys it. A lot of people walk around here,” Fender said.
“In the year I’ve been here, this is the only thing we’ve had reported,” Hickox said.
The park has no security cameras. There’s probably no way to catch who did it.
The community has already rallied to make the box better than ever. While the parks department was looking through the books it had fished out of the creek, several of them talked about bringing in replacement books, and Fender was getting promises too.
“Absolutely because people are already getting a hold of my wife on Facebook saying they’ll even donate books, whatever is missing,” Fender said.
The village said it would replace the plexiglass window.
Fender believes it’s the second time the box has been vandalized. He says the person who did it the other time was caught, but he never heard if they were punished.