Ned’s Point Little Free Diverse Library vandalized

Dec 20, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — A Little Free Diverse Library, which was installed at Ned’s Point by the Town of Mattapoisett on behalf of local anti-racism group Tri-Town Against Racism, was severely vandalized on Saturday night, Dec. 18, according to the organization.

The Little Free Diverse Library, which was installed in September, is much the same as any other Little Free Library — a popular concept consisting of a small box filled with books to be used as small-scale, local book exchange — with the only difference being that it is curated to only include books that promote diversity.

The box was discovered broken on Sunday morning by a Marion man who reported the incident to the organization.

Upon investigation, the box was found to be badly damaged. The door had been ripped off its hinges and smashed, several books had been torn apart and the others had been strewn around on the ground to be destroyed by the rain, and the post was loose, suggesting that the vandal or vandals had tried to remove it from the ground entirely.

“It’s really horrible,” said Tri-Town Against Racism Co-Founder Alison Noyce. “Even just picturing somebody doing that is upsetting. It just felt so personal.”

Noyce said the box contained about two dozen books when it was vandalized and that both of the Little Free Diverse Libraries are tended to frequently by members of the organization who check to make sure that the books in them stay on topic.

Tri-Town Against Racism’s other little library is at Old Wharf Landing in Marion.

Noyce said that she has contacted Mattapoisett Police about the incident and that they offered to keep a closer eye on the little libraries in the future.

But first, the group will have to raise the money to fix the box and Noyce said that the community has already responded.

“I guess the one upside to such an awful thing is that the community has been so supportive,” she said. “People are mad.”

Noyce said that the organization has already been offered help or replacement books by Tabor Academy, which has a diverse library; another Massachusetts anti-racism group, Anti-Racist Working Group of Holliston Wrentham and Plainville; and members of the community.

“We would gladly accept donations to get [the little library] back up,” said Noyce. “We know how much this Little Free Diverse Library matters in the community.”

Those who would like to donate to the group can send a check made out to Tri-Town Against Racism to P.O. Box 271, Marion, MA 02738 or send a Venmo payment to @Tritownagainstracism. The group also has an Amazon wishlist (available here) where they list the books they would like to add to their diverse library collection.