The Burns Lake Public library has received a grant from the Chinook Community Forest to install a new security and surveillance system.
The library had applied for grants to fund a new security and surveillance system and their grant to the Chinook Community Forest was approved last month.
Chinook Community Forest presented a cheque for $4,909 to the library.
“The surveillance system will be installed in the first week of May,” said Monika Willner, the library director.
The need for the security system comes after the library has become the victim of constant vandalism.
Just last week, the library’s rain gutters were ripped up and damaged.
“To fix and repair things damaged after acts of vandalism takes money, even if it is a little at a time. It adds up over time and it is money taken away from other programs and things the library could be doing instead,” said Willner.
Last year in the months of July and September, the library was subject to incidents of vandalism in which not only was the library property damaged, but the premises were littered as well. In 2019, the library had acquired a storage container and with the village’s help, was able to install siding and roofing to the storage. This newly installed siding was kicked in by the vandals.
“We love our library and unfortunately some individuals have little or no respect for this space and property,” a Facebook post by the library had said at the time.
The library has faced several instances of loitering and littering in the past but never had they seen any property vandalized before the incidents from last year. Several community members suggested that the library discontinue its free WiFi as that would discourage people from loitering around the library. However, Willner had said that since the internet connection was through the local government, the library was equipped with a fibre connected recognizing the need of several locals who still didn’t have good internet connectivity.
The library had since urged patrons and community members to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the RCMP. They had also started looking for funding opportunities to install a more robust surveillance system which they will finally have in place this week.
“We are very excited about that and hope that this will put a stop to the vandalism and keep our staff safe,” said Willner.
The library will remain closed during the week of installation from May 4 to May 7 and will only offer curbside service during those days between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.