MONCTON, N.B. -- A New Brunswick community has rallied together to restore an elementary school library, and the faith of those who work there, after thousands of books were vandalized.

Over 2,000 books, filled with shards of glass, were thrown away after a break-in at Evergreen Park School in Moncton last month.

“The glass just shattered everywhere and all of K-2 picture books are housed beneath the window, because that’s our sunny reading area,” says library worker Marie Law.

The collection was 22 years in the making and the loss of books is being valued between $20,000 and $30,000.

The Evergreen Park Home and School Association decided to step up and help by putting on a book drive. They were able to collect over 500 books on Friday.

“We had one last Friday and we'll be there this Friday coming and the Friday following to collect books from parents coming while they’re dropping their children off at school,” says Kristy Bhibah, a member of the Evergreen Park Home and School Association.

“We continue to ask for e-transfers and to contact any of us on the home and school with regards to dropping off books.”

Staff at the Advance Savings Credit Union donated $10,000. They say, as part of the Greater Moncton community, it was important for them to show their support.

“When they hurt, we hurt. So we opened our purse strings and our hearts and were able to make a donation and help them,” says Cathy Darland, the community engagement manager at the Advance Savings Credit Union.

“With COVID and whatnot, the schools are such an integral part of getting the youth and students back to some normalcy, and a library is an important heart of that school.”

As a precautionary measure, the books are quarantined for 72 hours and then sprayed with an electro-static mist that kills germs.

Law says the resilience of the community has been heartwarming.

“As vandals, you’re not going to win. You know, if you thought that you were going to destroy our love of coming back to school and the kids experience, it didn’t work. As a matter of fact, it only brought us all together closer,” she says.