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Monday, June 17, 2024  |  9 am – 9 pm

Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 1 – 5 pm

Marie Ulhorn Presidents Park is home to a new Little Free Library

By: GEPL Staff

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Marie Ulhorn Presidents Park, located at 265 Cumnor Avenue, is home to a brand new Little Free Library. For her Eagle Scout Service Project, seventeen-year-old Katherine Schlueter raised the necessary funds for the Little Free Library, coordinated with the Glen Ellyn Park District on placement, and built the structure itself! Below is a Q&A with Katherine, who recently finished her junior year at Glenbard West High School.

What led you to choose making a Little Free Library for your Eagle Scout Service Project?
I always see Little Free Librarys around, in fact, there’s one on my way to school I pass every day. I love the idea of books just being outside for anyone to discover. Honestly, I Googled Eagle Projects and found it behind hundreds of results for building a bench or forging a trail. As soon as I knew others before me had done it too, I felt even more confident in my choice to build one. Once my advisor said it would be doable for a project, I pretty much settled on it.

Why Marie Ulhorn Presidents Park?
It is not far off from my house and I would often visit it with my friends throughout the summer. Once it got an equipment update, more people started going and I thought it would have a good amount of foot traffic as well.

Do you want to expand on your decision to go into Boy Scouts as opposed to Girl Scouts?
In grade school, I actually was in Girl Scouts. It’s a good program, full of great people, but the activities just bored me. We met in one room and the Cub Scouts met in the other, and my guy friends would come out and tell me that they were learning knife safety, wilderness skills, or planning for their next campout. We never went outside, we made crafts instead.
My bedtime stories as a kid were stories from my dad’s childhood and a fair amount of those were scout stories. Him telling me about epic hikes, river trips, jamborees, and contending with rattlesnakes inspired me. I was like, ‘I want to tell my kids stories like this.’ He had always taken me camping, kayaking, and hiking. Consequently, I am infatuated with nature to this day. When Boy Scouts let girls into the program I was so excited to have an outlet that allowed me to go on so many adventures and discover so much about myself. It has been so amazing to share this with my dad and I know he’s super proud of me.

What do you love about libraries?
When most kids are misbehaving, their parents threaten to take away TV for a week, but my parents said I couldn’t go to the library. I love how libraries are so calm even though their shelves hold some of the most transformative stories you will ever encounter. Each book is someone’s story you would not have otherwise known. Libraries are a place of such creativity and order that provides so much comfort (especially around finals season). Stories have such power and having a place to find yourself by learning about others in your own book is irreplaceable.

Anything else you would like to share about you or this service project?
I had so much help. My family, friends, and troop donated their time, money, and materials to make this project possible and it would not be standing if not for their generosity.

The Little Free Library at Marie Ulhorn Presidents Park will be maintained by Glen Ellyn Public Library. Read more about the library’s Little Free Library locations.

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