Archive for Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Water pouring into city library

May 8, 2002

With each thunderstorm that rumbles through Tonganoxie, the ceiling and carpet in the city library get a soaking.

City officials hope that repairs to the library roof will begin on Monday. But until the work is complete, the library will remained closed.

A hailstorm that hit the area April 19 apparently damaged the library roof. And since then, rainwater's found its way through ceiling tiles as well as light fixtures.

"I wish it would stop raining," said Beckie Borella, library director. "Can't somebody make it stop?"

Borella and other staff members, along with a group of volunteers, have draped plastic over library bookshelves, computers and other furniture. They've even blanketed the American flag with a trash bag.

So far, the library's 18,000-book collection has been spared, but the carpet and ceiling tiles are soggy. And the humidity level in the building is high.

"There's a lot of humidity in here, and I'm kind of worried about the books," Borella said on Tuesday.

While the library is closed, she said, fines for overdue books will not accrue. But she encouraged anyone who has a library book checked out to return it to the library by using the night deposit, which is at the Bury Street entrance to the building. The longer books remain away from the library, the higher the chances they won't be returned, Borella said.

She's heard from many patrons who are eager for the building to reopen.

"It turned out to be a bigger inconvenience than I thought," Borella said. "The people who love the library really love it. They've got to get back in here."

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