The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 10, 2013

In the water's wake: Library works to be fully operational after recent flood damage


The flooding in the technical processing room displaced three employees. They have joined another staff member in an office in the children's department. Runner rugs have been placed on the floor so library staff members who need to access the room can more safely walk across the floor.

Young Adult Coordinator Kendra Evers was working downstairs for less than a week when the flood occurred, sending her packing for an office upstairs.

"I don't have a desk at all. It's frustrating, but everyone's been nice and has been sharing," Evers said.

Josh Hansen, the library's new systems administrator, was able to rearrange wires and move hard drives so library employees could work while in office limbo.

Asbestos removal will begin next week. While initial estimates peg the cost at $3,000, Birtell does not know how much of the tile and floor will need to be removed.

"From what I understand, if it continues to crumble, they will just keep removing more and more," Birtell said.

The city is going to put in a new subfloor and will patch the tiles, but Birtell said the temporary patches might not be enough to put the library staff back into the area.

"We might not be able to put the staff back to work in there until we get more permanent repairs," Birtell said.

The library's extensive collection of genealogical materials is inaccessible to patrons. Birtell said she hopes to have the Root Cellar open again by June 3 in order to accommodate the influx of people who come for the materials.

"Last summer we had people from Washington D.C., Texas, they were stopping in Clinton to do genealogy work. The place was packed," she said "I would feel terrible if someone came from such a long distance and couldn't use the resources we have."

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