‘Senseless act’ prompts Little Free Library in Hendricks County to temporarily close

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HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind.  —A senseless act of vandalism in Hendricks County has the parks department asking for the public’s help. This incident has happened twice in one week.

Julia Roberts said she saw what was left of the books from the little library near the Vandalia Trail.

“I was needing to use the restroom, and then you open the door, and there is books all over the floor, in the sinks, in the stools,” explained Roberts.

Not only does Roberts love using this trail, but she also participates in the Free Little Library there.

“I brought books down here. I exchange books,” said Roberts.

That’s one reason it made her so sad to see the damage.

“It makes everything bad for everybody because when they do that, then they’re going to have to shut things down,” said Roberts.

The Hendricks County Parks Department maintenance crew had to clean up the mess. Luckily, there wasn’t any plumbing damage. However, they did temporarily shut down the library as a result and won’t be adding any books until the restrooms are winterized and locked for the season.

“We have not communicated this with our law enforcement. We are asking folks from the public, Coatesville, local patrons, to assist with their eyes and ears and resolve this situation and putting an end to it,” said Superintendent Ryan Lemley.

The parks department suspects this was a group of kids off on fall break. Lemley strongly advises parents to supervise children on the trail. Roberts hopes parents go beyond that.

“It just seems like the parents should be teaching the kids a little more respect, to have more respect for different people’s properties,” said Roberts.

There are no cameras in the area, and at this point, the parks department has no plans to add any.

“We’ve talked to our property manager, and we do not think that is a necessary measure. If we continue to experience vandalism in these areas, we will be forced to pursue alternative options,” said Lemley.

Some people online have speculated whether this vandalism was politically motivated, but Lemley doesn’t think that’s the case.

“The books that have been vandalized there are just a variety of books. They’ve been comic books, youth books into other publications, so we don’t see a pattern in the books that are being vandalized,” said Lemley.

Roberts can't come up with a reason why someone would do this to the books and restroom.

“It’s just senseless what they’re doing,” said Roberts.

Those with information about these two incidents should contact the Hendricks County Parks Department.

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