LIMA — A leaking water pipe led to the forced closure of the Lima Public Library on Wednesday as the ensuing water flow ruined drop ceiling tiles and soaked carpets on both the upper and main floor of the facility.
According to the library’s public relations director, Karen Sommer, a maintenance worker arrived at the library at 7 a.m. Wednesday to find “waterfalls” of water running down the ceiling.
“If your pants drag in here, they’ll get wet. I had to roll mine up,” she said. “Since then, we’ve done a lot of work in here.”
The leak originated under the sink in the employee break room, soaking carpets in the break room, the adjacent hallway and part of the administration office area, as well as some of the carpeting in the youth services area before dripping through the ceiling on the main floor. It then soaked into carpets on the north end of the building before continuing down to the lower level.
One positive for the library, however, is that few if any books were damaged, according to Sommer.
“Anything that would be on the lower shelves would be at more risk, but we try to keep those shelves empty anyway,” she said.
Library Executive Director Gary Fraser concurred with Sommer’s assessment, maintaining that the library’s inventory of books was still mostly intact.
“I don’t think there was a lot of damage,” he said.
Maintenance personnel, along with a crew from ServiceMaster, worked throughout the day to remove the water.
“In places like the bathrooms, where there is no carpeting, you can just see the water seeping,” Sommer said. “So we definitely needed cleaners to come.”
Thanks to a great deal of work, according to Sommer, the library will be open at 9 a.m. Thursday, although there may still be some slight dampness in the carpets.
“Having ServiceMaster here with their equipment made a huge difference,” she said. “We’ll have industrial fans running throughout the night.”
At the end of the day, Sommer said, the library lost a total of 30 books.
“We were very fortunate,” she said.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.