The internet is outraged after a homemade community library was trashed with chili and wet cat food in an incident that left viewers wanting answers.
The now-viral Reddit post showing the wrecked library has amassed 48,000 upvotes and 3,900 comments since it was shared on June 29. Redditor Extric_Atorium shared the post to the subreddits “Mildly Infuriating” and “I Am A Total Piece Of S**t.”
“Neighbor built a community library. Last night someone dumped chili and cat food inside,” the post is titled, and it includes a picture of the vandalism. A close-up shot of the library in the form of a wooden case with a shelf was displayed along with a number of books stacked together upright.
However, on the bottom shelf was a heap of wet cat food, and throughout the small community library was a mess of chili splashed everywhere, including on books and all over the inside of the little space.
One book about Michelangelo, which was sitting on its side on top of other books, was covered in a layer of chunky chili as well, and it wasn’t the only one.
Free neighborhood libraries have become popular, and chances are you’ve seen one driving through a residential neighborhood at some point. They’re usually parked on the side of the road and hold a number of free books for the community to utilize.
A Little Free Library, which is a nonprofit organization, includes over 100,000 free book-sharing boxes where anyone can share a book or take one, according to the organization’s official website.
The little libraries can be purchased through the organization, which come registered, or people can opt to make their own and register them later.
Registered libraries have a steward who takes care of the library, and it’s usually the person who put the library up in the community. Little Free Libraries are in 108 countries throughout the world, and people can search for them in their area.
If people want to build their own community libraries, there are DIY projects available online for free, such as through HGTV’s website.
The Little Free Library’s official website also states that “small” acts of vandalism are “common,” however, more than 80 percent of stewards never have to deal with “significant vandalism,” according to their annual survey. If an incident does occur, they suggest telling law enforcement and letting neighbors know as well. Stewards can also utilize the Facebook group for stewards to look for advice.
Thousands of comments weighed in on the trashed community library, and they weren’t holding back with their feelings on the post. Some questioned why someone would do such a thing. “What do people get out of doing something like this?” a Redditor asked.
Others theorized who could have trashed the free library. “I immediately assume it was teenagers,” a Redditor said. Another user “assumed it was an unhinged adult.”
A Reddit user pointed out the ingredients used, insisting, “It was a miserable Karen who felt like she got wronged in some way I’m guessing.”
One Redditor pointed out the situation wasn’t “mildly infuriating,” but “full-on infuriating,” asking, “Who the f**k does that?”
While a user thought it was “sad,” they also pointed out the incident was “premeditated” as well because “who just walks around with chili and cat food? Even if they had an issue with this particular neighbor, doing this f**ks over the community, not just them.”
One Redditor described the scene as “massively f**king infuriating,” adding, “How can people be so cruel without reason? This was just a guy’s goodwill and hard work to do something nice. I’m sure he was proud and excited to see how it went.”
Another called the damage “absolutely disgusting,” and they expressed, “Humans can be downright cruel at times.”
People had sympathy for the neighbor who built the library. “What a sad, bitter, spiteful, poor excuse for a human being to do this,” a Redditor said. “I’m so sorry for your neighbor.”
Other comments of disapproval of the vandalism included, “I hate disrespectful people,” “This is why most people give up and stop doing nice things for others,” and “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
Newsweek reached out to Redditor @Extric_Atorium for comment.
This isn’t the only viral moment involving neighborhood-related issues. A neighbor was praised for making a dog owner deal with “loud and reactive” puppies. The internet backed a woman’s petty parking revenge on her neighbor. In addition, people were horrified as the ceiling shook in a clip of a noisy neighbor.