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Reading Public Library staff found a swastika drawn on furniture in the library Thursday, and police and town officials have classified the incident as part of an “ongoing and concerning problem” in the town, the library said.

Upon seeing the Nazi symbol, library personnel immediately contacted the Reading Police Department, the library said in a statement Friday.

Police opened an investigation in May after two swastikas were found in Reading Memorial High School, the Globe reported at the time. One was found drawn on a classroom floor on May 4, and the second was discovered on the wall of a bathroom in the school’s field house three weeks later.

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Another swastika appeared on a fence on Oakland Road near the school in August, the Globe reported Aug. 25.

“The Reading Public Library condemns this act of vandalism and hate speech, and is dedicated to strengthening the community by encouraging civic engagement, protecting intellectual freedoms and preserving the town’s history,” the library said in the statement.

The library’s Board of Trustees said the vandalism is in violation of their “Patron Rights and Responsibilities” policy, which prohibits discrimination, harassment, and threats.

“While this is an upsetting and unacceptable incident, the Reading Public Library will take this opportunity to teach and build empathy within the community through our daily interactions with patrons and thoughtful programming,” the library said.


Alyssa Meyers can be reached at alyssa.meyers@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ameyers_.