Little library with focus on indigenous content caught by rash of thefts

A number of little libraries in East York are now empty following a series of apparent thefts.


A number of little libraries in East York are now empty following a series of apparent thefts.

Gregory Lang is one of the neighbours behind one of the street-side libraries on Woodville Avenue. He built the box himself out of a used laundry cupboard donated by a neighbour and had been maintaining the book selection with the help of his wife for less than a month.

“Well, you feel violated. It’s as if they robbed us of stuff just as if they robbed our house,” says Lang.

The selection of books in this library was also unique, specifically offering books on Indigenous history and authors. This made the library a stand-out attraction for the neighbourhood, which will also be harder to replace.

“It’s difficult. You know, we had very few books on Indigenous history or by Indigenous authors, as most people do have very few,” explains Lang. “So, it’s usually about going out and buying them or getting them donated. And, you can but it takes a lot of work and the expense. It’s going to be hard.”

At the same time neighbours, like Magdalena Lambermont, who lives across the street are also sharing their disappointment in the recent string of thefts.

“I was so, so sad. These little things are what is important for us. And to steal it? I don’t know why.”

Lang now says the first effort to set up a little library with a focus on Indigenous history and authors was a community effort and he believes he’s already on track to replicate that success.

“Some of the books that weren’t taken in the full haul, individuals had taken and were reading and so when they finished, they returned them, so we have a few of those.”

It also appears the person believed to be behind the thefts may have been caught on camera, but neighbours are opting to hold off on calling the police while they try to make contact in hopes of understand more.


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