Firebugs have sent a street library full of books up in smoke, with a few singed pages all that remains of the Corrimal Book Box.
The cabinet-style library was constructed by volunteers from Corrimal Men's Shed and installed in Corrimal Memorial Park in 2017.
Wollongong City Libraries staff would stack it with discarded stock and passers-by could leave pre-loved books in it for others to take.
The library is believed to have been incinerated some time between Christmas and the New Year.
A resident, Dave Douglas, said parents visiting the Luke's Place playground would read the library's books to thier children, and his own grandchildren had liked using it. "Why anyone would destroy it is beyond me," he said.
Corrimal resident Justin Cole said the box had been a nice addition to the suburb's growing "share-your-space economy".
'It brought something to the community," he said. "It was definitely a step in the right direction for this place. It's a shame it's destroyed."
A council spokewoman said anyone with information about the vandalism should contact police or council.
"Street Libraries and book boxes like this one encourage reading within communities," she said.
"At this stage we have not made a decision about whether we will replace the book box."