An image of the”Little Free Library” at the Little Mountain Sports Fields which was damaged by vandals. The kiosks, which were intended to make books accessible in public places have been the targets for damage since they were installed in August. - Photo contributed.

Vandals damage Little Free Libraries

Non-profit group does not have extra funds to keep fixing kiosks that offer free books in Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm libraries have recently become the target of vandals.

It’s not the Okanagan Regional Library branch in the Mall at Piccadillly that has been incurring damage — rather a host of Salmon Arm’s “Little Free Libraries.”

The “libraries” are kiosks, which are kept supplied with donated reading materials free for the taking. Users are also encouraged to borrow a book and replace it with one they no longer need. They have been installed in public spaces around the city to help improve access to books and promote literacy.

In mid-August, the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) installed two more of these book kiosks in Salmon Arm, one at Canoe Beach and one at the Little Mountain sports fields.

The first library box was installed outside the LASS office on Alexander Street. LASS members report this box has been very well-used and taken care of by the public, with the exception of one incident over the summer.

Not so with the two new boxes, however.

Both kiosks at Canoe and Little Mountain have been vandalized almost continually, reports the society.

This weekend the Little Mountain library stand, which was generously sponsored by community members, was seriously damaged.

LASS is a non-profit charity and does not have a surplus of funds to repair the structures.

“We will attempt to find funds to repair this library and will look for an inside location to continue to support book sharing in our town. I believe that we can do better in our community,” says a Facebook post on the LASS page.

“If you see a ‘library’ being damaged, please call the police.”