Library asking for help to curb vandalism

Duane Hicks

The Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre, which just opened its doors in June, has been the victim of vandalism and mischief over the past couple of months and the town is hoping volunteers step forward to help curb the problem.
Chief librarian and CEO Margaret Sedgwick said small trees have been broken and an outdoor chess table was knocked off its base.
Then last week, an “e” was ripped off the side of the building so that it now reads: “Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centr.”
As well, there’s been problems with kids playing at the automatic doors, throwing snowballs, and putting things in the outside book drop.
Sedgwick said the problems have been perpetrated by 12- to 14-year-olds and always coincide with sporting events at the adjacent Memorial Sports Centre.
She stressed they’re not fans who attend hockey games but are those without tickets who—for whatever reason—hang around the property during those times being nuisances.
“It’s groups of young teenagers who, unfortunately, aren’t respecting the beautiful facility that they’re welcome to use,” she remarked.
Sedgwick said security cameras are being installed outside the library, and with these it will be possible to record any future perpetrators.
“Cameras are going to help. Then we’ll see who the culprits are,” she noted.
But in addition to that measure, Sedgwick said she’d like it if volunteers would agree to be at the library in the evenings during certain sporting events at the arena.
“We would like some help with ‘security,’ some volunteers who would come in the evenings and just be a presence here,” she explained, noting the library did have volunteers on hand to help with crowd control during its grand opening.
“If someone were just sitting here reading, and they saw that staff were having a problem, they could help staff with controlling the situation,” added Sedgwick, saying it only would be on certain evenings, probably between 6:30-8:30 p.m.
“Let’s keep it a beautiful building, let’s keep it inviting for everyone,” she urged.
Anyone wanting to volunteer their time can call Sedgwick at 274-9879.