Citizens and staff help clean up the Ballston Community Library following vandalism
By MARCI REVETTE
The Ballston Community Library was recently hit by vandalism when a teen-age boy drew an obscene image on the sidewalk in front of the library.
That is not what makes this story unique, though. What makes it unique is the community effort that came together to repair the damage.
“Community spirit is a lot of why I love this library,” said Karen DeAngelo, the director of Ballston Community Library.
She discovered the vandalism when she came in to work a couple of weeks ago and saw the image etched into the sidewalk.
Video surveillance identified the juvenile perpetrator, and she filed a report with the Saratoga County Sheriffs’ Department.
Determined to erase the offensive image, DeAngelo went to the local hardware store and purchased a product that was supposed to remove it. Unfortunately, it did not work.
Going back a second time, a man overheard her describing her problem and offered a solution. The man, who DeAngelo described only as Mr. O’Brien, a retired custodian from the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district, recommended a product he guaranteed would work.
But Mr. O’Brien didn’t stop there. He traveled to the American Chemical & Equipment Company in Latham, and employees donated a container of Markonex Gel, an effective graffiti remover.
After several hours of scrubbing by all of the staff members, the image was finally removed from the sidewalk.
DeAngelo is very grateful for the efforts of her staff and the community to help resolve the problem.
“Community spirit is what makes this library different from others,” she said. “We’re friendlier, and we care about each other. And the people who visit this library care about us.”
DeAngelo indicated she would be following up with the juvenile’s parents to discuss options.
“Although the cleaning product was donated, there was a significant input of staff, time and effort to get rid of the marks,” she said.