Nova Scotia

Middleton library break-ins rattle community

People in Middleton can't believe the Rosa M. Harvey Library has become a repeated target for vandals.

Vandals cause damage in four incidents

Sue Aldred says the vandals even stole a penny jar that was collecting money to buy children's books. (CBC)

People in Middleton say they can't believe the Rosa M. Harvey Library has become a repeated target for vandals.

The most recent break-in was on New Years Eve, when someone used a crowbar to pry open the steel back door.

"We found several rooms that had been upset," said Sue Aldred, librarian. "They had emptied envelopes and boxes and strewn things all over."

This was the fourth break-in at the library.

The vandals also trashed the library's DVD collection. They poured containers of soap on the bathroom floor and threw the caps in the toilet.

"We're not sure who does that. We think it might be young people. There are some rumours around town, but nobody knows for sure," said Aldred.

But the heaviest blow was the loss of a fund to buy new reading material for the kids' section.

"They took $140 of pennies that we had been collecting to buy children's books with. We'd started in October and we had some jars out, and our patrons are very generous and they wanted to help out."

Town considers security options

Around the community, people say they're disgusted by the actions of the vandals.

"I'm very upset," said Wayne Sears. "I mean, it's our community. The library's there for the public to use."

The mayor called the burglary pathetic.

"We're quite upset about it and we hope they'll be apprehended and dealt with," said Calvin Eddy.

Eddy said council will look at the possibility of installing surveillance cameras downtown and at recreation areas to try to curb break-ins and vandalism. He thinks the library needs the same treatment.

"That has proven to be effective in some areas around the Valley," he said.

Town officials said it could cost several thousand dollars to repair the library and install a security system. If the system is approved, it could be in place by spring.