INDIANAPOLIS — A Little Free Library was vandalized — the door torn off and the bookcase left empty. The owner said vandals hit his little stand several times in just this past week.
The library has been a labor of love.
"I found this cabinet at Midland Antique Mall for $15," Thomas Woodard said.
Woodard's Little Free Library sits on the corner of West 40th and North Illinois streets.
"The bottom row is devoted to kids," Woodard said.
He's given away more than 7,000 books to kids and adults since building it six years ago.
"My biggest compliment is having someone come up and say, ya know, ''You curate these titles. I've been noticing,'" Woodard said.
They're books that he buys himself or are donated to him. That's why Woodard is puzzled.
"This isn't meant to be some divisive thing. It's like a community service I'm trying to provide," Woodard said.
Vandals have hit the library three times this past week. Woodard first found the cupola smacked off and the library empty.
"They cleaned up their mess. What kind of self respecting vandal cleans up their mess?" Woodard said.
Over the weekend, someone tore off the door, breaking the antique hinges and left the books littered across the snowy ground.
"Less than 24 hours, I came home Monday night to find a can of soup in here, and it destroyed an entire row of books up here," Woodard said. "I just noticed this one has a remnant of soup. It's disgusting."
Woodard is fed up. If vandals don't stop, Woodard is not sure how long he'll continue to offer his free gift to the neighborhood.
"You're not taking books and destroying something of mine," Woodard said. "You're taking things from other people."
Woodard also rebuilt his library after vandals destroyed it in 2018.