Grateful staff at Scarborough Library say they have been “truly humbled” by the kindness of the community after their newly refurbished building was vandalised over the weekend.
Police were called to the Grade II listed building on Vernon Road on Sunday (November 5), following a report of a man throwing things at the windows.
Staff arrived on Monday morning to discover smashed windows, causing thousands of pounds in repairs, and began a mission to clean up the broken glass from inside the children’s section of the library.
But sadness quickly turned into joy after members of the community rallied round offering to tidy up the library following the incident.
North Yorkshire Council’s libraries general manager, Hazel Smith, said:
“We’ve been overwhelmed and truly humbled by the messages of support and offers of help we’ve received from the library users and the general public.
“The response has warmed our hearts and illustrates what a wonderful community we are part of. Thank you to each and every one of you. It means a lot to us.
“This incident has also had a significant impact on team morale at the library, but I would like to thank North Yorkshire Police, who have been hugely supportive.”
As revealed earlier this week, the Minister responsible for libraries was welcomed as a guest speaker at Scarborough Library to speak about the Government’s commitment to invest in the far-reaching network.
On Friday (November 3), Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, Minister for Arts and Heritage at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, visited to see the result of this year’s £450,000 refurbishment, which has seen the building reconfigured to create a brighter, more attractive space.
Ms Smith added:
“We have arranged for a specialist team of cleaners to undertake the clean-up of the mess and damage caused and we are determined to reopen the children’s section of the library by Monday, November 13.
“In the meantime, we have created a temporary area for children in the community space section of the library. As you can understand, we will be unable to run any of our activities for children this week, but hope this space will provide somewhere to choose books and meet with other families.
“We will be topping up books to borrow on a regular basis, but just ask one of the team if you can’t find anything.”
Police investigations are continuing into the incident.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police confirmed officers attended the scene at about 10.50pm on Sunday.
The spokesman added:
“The suspect initially ran from the officers but was swiftly detained.
“Following information from other witnesses, two other premises were found to have damage to their windows.”
A suspect, an 18-year-old male from the local area, has been released under investigation.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police on either 101 quoting the reference number 12230210782.