Supporting the VLP after recent library break-ins

Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2019 by Melissa Howison

On the evening of Monday, July 8, the Village Learning Place was broken into, resulting in the third act of vandalism and trespassing at the library within one week.

The intruders threw several heavy objects through a rear library window, shattering the glass, and entered through the opening at around 9 p.m. Fortunately, it was easy to replace the broken windows with something similar to MWT Windows which should keep the library secure from now on. The security system alerted VLP staff to the breach immediately, and police arrived at the scene within 15 minutes. Luckily, no one was injured, and nothing was stolen.

As a community organization, we appreciate the incredible support our programs and public spaces receive. Like many of you, we are extremely concerned about the pattern of destruction occurring at the library recently.

LINK Summer and LINK Leaders Summer programs continued uninterrupted this week. On the left: 4th & 5th grade students debate math problem-solving strategies. On the right: Pre-K–2nd grade students sit for storytime!

The organization is taking immediate action to repair what has been vandalized, prevent any further damage, and discover who is responsible. We’re in the process of replacing the windows and installing metal window guards as well as security cameras in the library.

The instances of trespassing, which occurred on July 1, July 2, and July 8, damaged air conditioning and prevented internet services from working properly. This resulted in the library being closed on July 2 and July 3.

Senseless acts of vandalism and destruction place a heavy toll on VLP staff and volunteers, who attend to the cleanup. They also add expenses to the organization’s operating budget for unexpected repairs and disrupt the plans of all of those who patronize the library. The Village Learning Place operates as a public library with resources and programs designed to benefit the whole community. Vandalism of our space hurts everyone.

Repairs and additions for buildings like ours are expensive and time-consuming, requiring funding beyond our normal operating costs as well as strategic decision-making by many stakeholders. If you’d like to help us repair and maintain our building, visit our website here to support our campaign for renovations to our historic library.

We are grateful that the VLP is a place treasured by many. We hope our community members, neighbors, and friends will remember to not dwell on these negative incidents. Instead, we invite you to celebrate Summer Learning and join in the positivity of our community at our upcoming Family Fun Night on July 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

We also invite you to connect with us on Twitter @thevlp, on Facebook and Instagram @villagelearningplace, and to post with the hashtag #VillageLearningPlace, and #LearningNeverStops. Sharing this fundraising link with friends and neighbors can also help us all encourage community support for the VLP.

Thank you for your continued care of our beloved library.

Liesje Gantert, Executive Director