Community book swap incinerated after second suspected arson attack

The Little Library Book Swap in the Old Library Wood off Rosary Road, in Norwich, has been destroyed by suspected arsonists.

The Little Library Book Swap in the Old Library Wood off Rosary Road, in Norwich, has been destroyed by suspected arsonists. - Credit: Natalie Gray

A community book swap has been destroyed after the outdoor library was set ablaze in a suspected arson attack.

The Old Library Wood off Rosary Road has once again been hit by vandals which has seen its book-swap incinerated.  

A fire crew from Carrow Road was called to the incident at in the early hours of this morning. 

They used hose reel jets to extinguish the fire. 

The Little Library Book Swap in the Old Library Wood off Rosary Road has been destroyed by suspected arsonists.

The Little Library Book Swap in the Old Library Wood off Rosary Road has been destroyed by suspected arsonists. - Credit: Natalie Gray

This follows a suspected arson attack on Wednesday, January 26, which saw all of its books left burnt on the ground. 

But this time the culprit(s) also set alight to the library cabinet. 

Natalie Gray, an ITV Anglia broadcast reporter and local resident, said when she discovered what was left of The Little Library Book Swap on Monday morning [February 14] she was “absolutely heartbroken”. 

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“After the first attack, I was so overwhelmed by the amount of support we received,” she said. “The library was rebuilt and it was filled with new books. There were so many kind donations and offers to help. 

“I’m just so upset that someone could do this again and destroy such a beautiful part of our community.” 

The Little Library is cared for by The Old Library Wood Collective, a group of volunteers working to improve the area. 

It was launched in 2018 as part of their efforts to keep anti-social behaviour in the area at bay. 

The group said they had not experienced any problems with vandals until this year.  

The Little Library Book Swap in the Old Library Wood off Rosary Road has been destroyed by suspected arsonists.

The Little Library Book Swap in the Old Library Wood off Rosary Road has been destroyed by suspected arsonists. - Credit: Natalie Gray

Ben Price, a Norfolk county councillor for the Thorpe Hamlet ward who is also involved with the volunteer group, added: “I'm shocked that anybody would want to destroy this wonderful community library. 

“Local residents have put in so much work and effort making this a safe and welcoming space for all and this second act of vandalism will be a huge blow to everyone involved.  

“I know that the generous people of Norwich will do what they can to help put this right and I encourage them to get in contact with us.

"I hope that our excellent police officers will quickly apprehend the culprit." 

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