Tuesday, 21 November 2023 13:12

Little Libraries Contend with Vandalism

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Two little libraries were vandalized last month in Saratoga Springs. The public boxes contain banned books that can be borrowed and returned for free. 

One box, located near Caffe Lena on Phila Street, is stewarded by Nancy Weber. When she found the library vandalized, she said she “kind of did a double-take because it was so shocking.” Weber discovered that dozens of books had been taken from the library. Only one remained: “The Hate U Give,” a novel about race relations in the wake of a police shooting.

“We knew that it was just a matter of time before something like this would happen,” Weber said. “We’re living in very volatile, polarized times.”

The identity of the vandal or vandals is unknown. “It could’ve been a prank, or it could’ve been someone intentionally doing it,” Weber said.

Weber said that no further vandalism has occurred since the initial incident, but there was one odd book exchange.

“Curiously, one book came back: The Bible,” Weber said. “A few days ago, that copy of the Bible left and another copy of the Bible came in, which I thought was sort of pointless.” 

Weber said that since the vandalization occurred, there’s been an increase in book donations to the library. But many of the donated books are not actually considered banned books. Donated books should be included on the American Library Association’s list of banned and challenged books, or the PEN America Index of School Book Bans.

The second vandalized little library of banned books is stewarded by Julie Holmberg. She said that one of the congregants at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Saratoga found the library’s contents under a nearby bush.

“There had been a rainstorm, and all of the books were destroyed,” Holmberg said. “They were all hidden away underneath there and had to be trashed.”

“It’s very frustrating that people would destroy property like that, especially books,” she said. “It just feels like right now things are so discouraging.”

Unlike Weber, Holmberg has not received a significant increase in book donations since the vandalization occurred, leaving the little library with an uncertain future.

“I just encourage people to open their minds, read things. If you don’t agree with it, that’s fine. But keep the conversation going so that we can figure out a way to live together,” Weber said.

Read 518 times

Blotter

  • Saratoga Springs Police Department Christopher Noffer, 52, of Terrel, North Carolina, was charged with assault.  Daniel Gudar, 46, of Saratoga Springs, was charged with criminal mischief, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.  Alexis Riffelbach, 26, of Middle Grove, was charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and moving from lane unsafely.  Lawrence Finneran, 71, of Saratoga Springs, was charged with criminal trespass, criminal tampering, and criminal mischief.  Charles Pace, 36, of Queensbury, was charged with tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a narcotic drug.  Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Joann Mare sold property at 43 Kasey Pass to Bevalie McFarland for $360,000 GALWAY Leigh Novak sold property at 5557 Lake Rd to Jason Haribans for $339,900 Heidi Gifford sold property at 1123 Rt 29 to 123 Rt 29 Land Trust for $100,000 John Warholic sold property at 5278 Sacandaga Rd to Jessica Morris for $100,000 GREENFIELD Samuel Ellis sold property at 25 Lady Slipper Lane to Michael Folmsbee for $165,000 MALTA  Thomas Ruby sold property at 35 Hills Rd to Christie Burdick for $440,000 Jennifer Kotch sold property at 31 George Ave to Zacharay Sedefian for $315,000 MILTON…