The Redwood Falls Gazette editor Troy Krause, right, interviews Todd Bol, co-founder of the Little Free Library in Vesta in early July 2012. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.
TODD BOL DIED ON THURSDAY from pancreatic cancer.
The beautiful handcrafted LFL donated to my hometown of Vesta. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.
I met him briefly in July 2012 when he drove three hours from Hudson, Wisconsin, to my hometown on the southwestern Minnesota prairie. He delivered a Little Free Library, fulfilling my life-long dream for a library in Vesta.
The team that worked to bring a Little Free Library to Vesta includes Dorothy Marquardt, left, and Karen Lemcke, representing the sponsoring Vesta Commercial Club, LFL co-founder Todd Bol and me (holding a copy of a poetry anthology I donated). Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012 by Randy Helbling.
I shall be forever grateful to this visionary’s gift of a mini library and books. My mom used that LFL. So did extended family and others in and around the small farming community. Folks operating the Vesta Cafe expanded the library, placing shelves inside the restaurant for more books. Locals tended the outdoor library Bol installed near the cafe entrance.
The LFL Todd and Susan Bol installed outside the community owned Vesta Cafe. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.
Now, all these years later, the founder of the Little Free Library leaves a world-wide legacy of literacy with 75,000-plus officially registered libraries in 88 countries.
The books Todd Bol and I placed inside Vesta’s LFL on July 1, 2012. He brought books donated by several Twin Cities publishers and I brought books from my personal collection. I have since collected and donated an additional 40 books. A retired librarian from nearby Wabasso donated eight bags of books, primarily mysteries and the cafe managers also donated books. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.
And one of those is in my hometown because one man cared enough about a small town in the middle of nowhere to deliver the seed plant for the Small Towns Minnesota LFL Movement. Because of Todd’s generosity, his kindness, his love of books, my hometown has a library. As a lover of books, of the written word, I am grateful.
One of many Little Free Libraries in Faribault, where I’ve lived since 1982. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.
TELL ME: Are there Little Free Libraries in your community? I’d like to hear your LFL stories in honor of Todd Bol.
FYI: Click here to read the original post I wrote about Todd’s visit to my hometown to install the LFL.
PLEASE CHECK BACK to see a memorable LFL I spotted recently in Waseca.
© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling