Cave Junction, Ore.– Staff and volunteers are working to re-open the Illinois Valley Branch Library which was vandalized by burglars. Now community members say when it comes to crime in the area, enough is enough.
“It is a shame that they choose places where children get their learning from,” says Steve Knight, a Josephine County resident who used to volunteer at the library. “I may have to go back there to give them a hand,” Knight says.
All of this after the building was broken into, vandalized and burglarized Tuesday.
Kate Lasky, Executive Director of the Josephine Community Libraries says the library’s door was broken, a front window smashed, and internet and power lines cut. Once inside a burglar or burglars stole an i-Pad, gems and minerals and also damaged a computer.
“It is senseless,” says Lasky. “This robbery and vandalism is a direct result of not having funding for our law enforcement. This is a larger issue than just the public library. This is a community issue.”
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel understands Lasky’s frustration.
“Obviously presence is huge,” says Daniel. “When there is law enforcement only a certain number of days there is a window of opportunity for the criminal element.”
That worries Lasky.
“I think they are doing the very best they can. I am concerned about the next time. The community deserves more.”
Exactly the reason why Lasky says the branch wont let their community down.
“It is our mission to provide library services and we are not going to falter from our mission.”
Just last weekend Illinois Valley High School and Evergreen Elementary were broken into and thousands of dollars in equipment was stolen. There was also a break-in attempt at the post office. Sheriff Daniel says all are under investigation.
Meanwhile library staff says they are in desperate need of volunteers right now as they move to re-open.