Anonymous hero comes to the rescue of vandalised Chifley Shops Street Library

Max O'Driscoll 8 October 2021 4
Chifley Shops Street Library damage

Chifley Shops Street Library was a victim of vandalism on Tuesday. Photo: Lil Street Libraries.

How could someone be so cruel?

On Tuesday, those who normally pick up a book to read from the Chifley Shops Street Library were greeted with nothing but ruins. A heinous act was committed on the beloved book box, completely destroying the library and all the books inside.

Those books had been kindly donated by members of the public for the enjoyment of the community.

Founders of the unofficial governing body of the street libraries in the Canberra/Queanbeyan region, “Lil Street Libraries”, Shah Petreski and Roz Martiniello, were made aware of the damage done at Chifley Shops and were instantly outraged.

“It’s devastating and just nonsensical. You just can’t believe that someone would do that,” said Ms Martiniello.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Known in the Lil Street Library community as the “LSL Superhero”, a man, who at this stage is choosing to remain anonymous, came to the rescue of the street library on Wednesday.

The LSL Superhero had the book box looking as good as new by afternoon and later that day another especially generous member of the community filled it with books.

Chifley Shops Street Library

An anonymous hero came to the rescue of the street library on Wednesday. It was filled with books again before day’s end. Photo: Lil Street Libraries.

Believed to be a retiree from Canberra’s south, the local hero says it was the Canberra spirit that was his greatest inspiration for fixing the library so promptly.

“I just love the community spirit in Canberra and hope to encourage others to be like-minded. I especially love the fact that children enjoy the libraries and gardens. What the community is doing at the Mawson ponds is bloody amazing and should be recognised. I hope to slip another little library into Cooleman Court this weekend so keep an eye out for it.”

“We can all do our bit in all sorts of ways, can’t we? The ACT Government are supportive of communities being active, so long as they are mindful of others and consider safety in and around the areas of any projects,” said the LSL Superhero.


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Lil Street Libraries’ Shah Petreski said it’s far from the first time the mystery man has helped the street library community.

“We first met him in 2019.”

“Sometimes he’ll say ‘Shah I’ve got a street library here, is there anyone that wants it?’ There’s always someone who wants it and he doesn’t charge them for his time.”

“If they’re on the south side around the Woden/Weston Creek area he’ll even sometimes install it for them,” she said.

To keep up to date with the street libraries of the region and potentially one day discover the identity of our anonymous local hero, follow the Lil Street Libraries Facebook page.


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4 Responses to Anonymous hero comes to the rescue of vandalised Chifley Shops Street Library
Pat Shaw Pat Shaw 9:00 pm 10 Oct 21

Was only admiring the street library last Thursday. Some sad people around. But also some true hero’s.

obonekay obonekay 5:57 pm 09 Oct 21

Has Ken Behrens come to the rescue? Well done to the Mystery DIY-er.

Pam Perkins Pam Perkins 1:50 pm 09 Oct 21

A wonderful contribution 😊

Finagen_Freeman Finagen_Freeman 11:37 am 09 Oct 21

Top job. Muppets hang their heads.
Great that there’s more kindness in this world.

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