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Puny act of evil: Little Free Library burns outside Miller Community Center

Someone’s weekend shenanigans included a destructive act of puny evil on 20th Ave E. The Miller Community Center’s Little Free Library went up in flames — likely sometime Saturday night, one neighbor tells CHS.

"RIP" :( Thanks to Andrew Taylor for the picture

“RIP” :( Thanks to Andrew Taylor for the picture

CHS wrote here about the book donation box’s World Book Night 2013 debut. “I think it’s a great way to connect the community and promote literacy and a love of reading,” a community center rep told CHS at the time. In the years since, the Little Free Library movement has taken off and you now find book boxes on many blocks across Seattle — and the world.

There aren’t many details on the fire that destroyed the box just north of the community center. From Seattle Fire records, it doesn’t appear than anybody saw the fire in time to call the department in. We’ll check with SPD to see if there were any calls to police. We’ve also asked Seattle Parks if there are any plans yet for their center to rebuild the small but popular community resource and how people might be able to help.

UPDATE: We get the feeling this crime might not ever be solved. SPD tells CHS the fire was reported well after the incident Sunday morning around 10 AM. Police didn’t find much to go on besides a lighter found near the scene. It was checked for fingerprints but nothing useful turned up.

UPDATE 2/14/2017: The parks department is taking a hands-off approach, it sounds like. The library was “a community-led initiative,” a spokesperson tells CHS. “We didn’t take the lead on building the box and don’t have information on how the community can replace the box.” Your move, community.

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10 thoughts on “Puny act of evil: Little Free Library burns outside Miller Community Center

  1. The library was built by a very active Miller Community Center volunteer, who has now left the area. As the City agreed to have it there, I presume it would be easy for a worthy donor to supply a replacement.

  2. I built that little free library, and am heartbroken that it came to such an end. As Andrew mentioned, I no longer live in the area. But if there is community interest in rebuilding, has build plans and ready-to-assemble kits. May many baby phoenixes rise from the ashes of Little Free Library #409!

    • Sophia, I’m going to try and make this right for our neighborhood. I’ve seen these Little Free Libraries make a big difference, and I want to see it come back.

      • RD, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! The community center told me today that there have been other people asking how to rebuild. If you are willing to help — especially to coordinate the effort — please communicate with the center. Their number is (206) 684-4753. They always welcome help from community members.

    • Thanks, Sophia. I left a message yesterday with the center. It sounds like there are definitely several others wanting to pitch in to give this little library location life again.