Furniture in the Kenai Community Library has been damaged for the second time since mid-May.
Library staff were made aware of a couch and a chair that were vandalized Wednesday morning after the janitor discovered the damage the night before, said Assistant Director Mary White.
“There was … one couch sliced low and one chair sliced,” she said.
The library will get an estimate on the cost of this most recent damage next week, White said. Staff reported this second act of vandalism to the Kenai Police Department as well, she said.
Kenai City Manager Rick Koch said city-owned surveillance cameras have been set up for the library as a short-term solution. They are generally used by the city during the summer dipnet, so they will be taken back when the season rolls around, by which time he said he library should have a more permanent solution.
As for the couch and chairs damaged the first time around, Koch said the Poofy Puffin Upholstery Place in Kenai has offered to help.
“They are pretty avid users of the library,” he said. “They offered to … reupholster the damaged pieces of furniture at the cost of the materials.”
This should save the library a few thousand dollars in donated time, Koch said. Library staff were originally looking at upward of $10,000 to replace the damaged furniture, said Director Mary Jo Joiner in a previous Clarion interview.
Koch said he hopes the cameras will provide a deterrent for future acts of vandalism.
“It’s really troubling, especially the method or style of this vandalism,” he said, referencing the use of a knife or similar object to slash the couches and chairs. “To me it exhibits there’s some anger there, and that’s troubling … anywhere, but especially in a library.”
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