It wasn’t all stuffing and giving thanks during the holiday weekend, as some vandalism destroyed Inclusion NWT’s Little Library.
“The Little Library itself, handmade by clients and staff, is smashed… the library structure itself cannot be repaired and would have to be replaced,” said Daron Letts, communications and administrative officer for Inclusion NWT. “It’s always a disappointment when the creative energy of the community is interrupted. This is not the first such incident we’ve had to address, but it’s the most disruptive damage we’ve seen.”
Part of the Abe Miller Garden on 53 Street, the Little Library consisted of a two-shelf library with three-dozen books for all ages and a separate overflow table that featured dozens more selections — close to 100 books and magazines in total, according to Letts.
Despite the disheartening discovery — the damage occurred between mid-evening on Oct. 10 and the morning of Oct. 11 — Letts continues to maintain a positive mindset.
“Our approach is to use the situation to remind the community that we invite our neighbours to make use of the Abe Miller Garden in a positive way,” he said. “(The garden) has grown into a beloved landmark of sorts downtown. We know it’s appreciated by all parts of the community, from young families to seniors. It would be an injustice if one or two individuals were able to take that away from so many who cherish it.”
As of Yellowknifer’s publication deadline, there was no information as to who caused the damages.
“We do not know who may be responsible, but demographically-speaking, we do know that all sectors of the population from all backgrounds enthusiastically make use of our Little Library and treat the installation with care, including many teens,” said Letts.
With regards to moving forward on future projects or attempted to resurrect the Little Library, various factors will be taken into account, he noted.
“Our clients take pride in curating the free books and keeping the display neat, organized and inviting,” he said. “When clients and staff discuss the future of the Little Library, its popularity and our pride in it will certainly factor into the decision. Concern about vandalism will likely influence how our public projects are shared in future, but everyone knows our team doesn’t give up easily when it comes to building and strengthening our community.”
Letts also believes that a “little neighbourhood watch goes a long way.”
“If you’re walking by our office and notice something is amiss, feel free to drop us a text or a phone call,” he said. “Same goes for public art, playgrounds and other sites we all enjoy — we can all help by keeping these places safe, clean and intact.”