Don and Kathleen Skoller stand to the left of the book nook they donated to Bent Park. To the right are Lou Dickson of Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, City Environmental Services Bureau Chief Paul D’Agostino, and Geno Benvenuti of Benvenuti and Stein, who built the book nook. RoundTable photo

An elegant book nook was installed along the south side of Bent Park on Oct. 17, a gift to the City from Kathleen Skoller. She won it at an auction at the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse Wrecking Ball fundraiser last month.

Geno Benvenuti, who created this Frank-Lloyd-Wright-inspired book nook, said he spent between 80 and 100 hours on it.

“It was a labor of love, not a money-maker,” he quipped as he showed visitors the top-mounted solar panels that connect to internal lights on either side. It is constructed with glued joinery – no nails nor screws – of African Mahogany and Red Grands. The finishing processes are with natural dyes and exterior stains.

Ms. Skoller’s husband, Don, brought the first installation of books and magazines for residents to borrow, return or not, and perhaps replace. It joins about 30 such book nooks throughout the community, some registered as Little Free Libraries, some existing on their own.

Paul D’Agostino, Environmental Services Bureau Chief for the City, told the RoundTable the City’s Recreation Department is working on a policy for book nooks in City parks, such as that the owners or those who donate them should keep them stocked and should notify the City about maintenance
issues.