The siding of the storage shed was damaged and an electrical socket from the side of the building pulled-out. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake Public Library vandalized again

Staff comes back from long weekend to witness damaged property, litter

Vandals have once again damaged property at the Burns Lake Public Library and littered around the building.

In a Sept. 8 Facebook post, the library detailed informed patrons about the damage and said, “While the staff here at the Burns Lake Public Library enjoyed the long weekend, coming to work and finding all of this is a bit heartbreaking. We love our library and unfortunately some individuals have little or no respect for this space and property. The RCMP are involved.”

In July, the library was subject to another such incident of vandalism where some of the library’s property was damaged and the area was littered. The damage was done mainly to the building outside the library in its premises which is used for storage. Just last year, the library had acquired a storage container and with the help from the village, was able to install siding and roofing to the storage. This siding was kicked into and broken.

The library has faced several instances of loitering and littering in the past but never had they seen any property vandalized before. A lot of the community members suggested that the library discontinue its free wifi as that would discourage people from loitering around the library.

“Our internet connection has been through the local government; we have been connected to the fibre and this is a service for our public recognized by our local government because many of our patrons still don’t have any connection so we feel like this is very important and so shutting down the service, is not an really an option,” said Monika Willner in response to those suggestions, at that time.

After the incident in July, the library didn’t have any such incidents for two months until the labor day long weekend. This time also, the side panels of the storage container are kicked in and part have been broken apart. There was also a lot of litter around the library in its premises.

This time around, people in the community are suggesting the library invest in surveillance cameras for security purposes with some even suggesting that the library start a GoFundMe page to raise money for the surveillance equipment. In the meantime however, the library is urging patrons to be vigilant. Willner, who had in the past expressed the library’s desire to open up the library premises with comfortable seating, had also mentioned that such incidents of vandalism and littering are deterrent in the library’s plans.

The library’s Facebook post also urged the patrons and the community members to keep an eye out for any such vandals.

“Once again, we are reaching out to the good citizens of our community asking to please report any suspicious activity to the RCMP. Things have been quiet here until now, and we would like to thank everyone who has been keeping watch.”

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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