A “Little Free Library” named for former first lady Michelle Obama has been vandalized, apparently by one or more Donald Trump supporters who scratched out her name and replaced it with Donald Trump’s name, USA Today is reporting. It was at least the fourth time that particular box has been vandalized in such a way.
A “Little Free Library,” for those not familiar, is just what it sounds like: a “library” where anyone who wants to can simply take a book, no questions asked, and either return it at another point or keep it forever, according to the Little Free Library Foundation’s website. Similarly, users and/or donors are asked to leave books as well. However, unlike your city’s public lending library, a Little Free Library is less of a dedicated building and more of a mailbox-like device which will cost about $150-250 (or which you can make by yourself) and require that you dig a hole in the ground.
“Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
For a couple of years now, once such library has stood in Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Homeowner Maureen Dolan-Galaviz says she put it up shortly after Donald Trump was inaugurated. And she named it in honor of former first lady Michelle Obama.
“In Honor of Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama: Lawyer, writer, and First Lady of the United States.”
— HowStuffWorks (@HowStuffWorks) November 25, 2018
Unfortunately for Dolan-Galaviz, the library has attracted the attention of vandals who are apparently not happy with Michelle Obama’s name being there. The most recent act of vandalism was a crude attempt at crossing out Michelle’s name, itself spray-painted in orange paint and replaced with Trump’s.
— Anita Nelam (@AnitaNelam) November 25, 2018
In fact, the crude orange paint indicating the library’s namesake was itself the result of previous attempts at vandalism. When the box was first put up, a plaque indicated that it had been named for the former first lady – that is, until it was pried off by vandals. Dolan-Galaviz then put up a photograph of Mrs. Obama; that, too, was removed by vandals.
According to the Independent, Dolan-Galaviz was appalled that someone would take out their political frustrations over an object meant to advance literacy.
“Who would do that? If there is one thing that should be off limits it’s the idea that we all deserve access to books.”
Since 2009, according to Newsweek, the Little Free Library movement has put up miniature libraries in 88 countries around the world.