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Rosemount residents replace destroyed Little Free Library

Rosemount resident Joe Skalicky and 17-year-old Dawson Van Delist, his girlfriend's son, built and installed a new "Little Free Library" at Claret Park to replace one that police believe was destroyed by arson in October. Photo Submitted by Myra Van Delist.

Joe Skalicky always wanted to build a Little Free Library, a tiny structure that invites passersby to take a free book or leave one for others to enjoy.

When a suspected act of arson destroyed the miniature library neighbors built in Rosemount's Claret Park, Skalicky saw an opportunity to help rectify a "disrespectful" act of destruction.

Rosemount residents Joe Skalicky and Dawson Van Delist quietly replaced Claret Park's "Little Free Library" last weekend. A carpenter by trade, Skalicky enlisted Dawson Van Delist, his girlfriend's 17-year-old son, to help craft a replacement.

The two unceremoniously posted the new library last weekend.

"We built it and just figured we'd pop it up there," Skalicky said. "We didn't think it'd be a big deal since there was one there before."

The new library, a house-shaped cabinet featuring a painted glass window, took about eight hours to finish. Skalicky said they used mostly recycled materials he had laying around like pallet boards.

Rosemount Police Chief Mitchell Scott said police are still investigating the early-morning blaze that gutted the original library Oct. 28.

No further information about the case is available, Scott said in an email.

For Dawn Groen, one of six neighbors who helped plant the library, the new library offers some encouragement.

"I'm very happy that someone stepped forward with that," she said. "I hope we can somehow keep a better eye on it and than we did before."

Skalicky said he would see other Rosemount residents make frequent use of the library and surrounding benches as reading spots.

He hopes to build additional libraries in the future. For now, he said the new library needs more books.

"I've got wood and carpentry stuff laying around, but I didn't have any books to put in it, so it's empty," Skalicky said. "It's big and ready for people to put in books."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact officer Randy Trefethren at 651-322-3124.