UNION COUNTY — The Union County Carnegie Library is once again relocating, this time to a total of five different locations in four communities.
The Union County Carnegie Library closed its doors the weekend following a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 30 that kicked off a $1.8 million restoration program that will involve the renovation, upgrade and expansion of the library building at 300 East South Street. The library was closed to allow staff to relocate its materials and equipment to its temporary location in the old Graham Cash building at 127 East Main Street.
The library reopened at its temporary location on Wednesday, January 3, but was forced to close again on Thursday, January 4, when a sprinkler froze, ruptured, and caused a flood. The ruptured sprinkler is on a floor the library is not leasing, but it nevertheless flooded the entire building.
The flood is forcing the library to once again relocate, only this time it will be relocating to multiple locations in order to resume providing services to the people of Union County as soon as possible.
“We are going to move our collection into storage and provide services at community facilities throughout the county,” Library Director Rieta Drinkwine said Monday.
Drinkwine said that the library’s collection of books, DVDs, CDs, and other materials will be warehoused in the Old Berry Builder Mart building on Lakeside Drive. She said the facility will not, however, be open to the public.
“We appreciate the Berrys allowing us to store our collection in their facility,” Drinkwine said.
While its materials will be stored at the old Berry Builder Mart, Drinkwine said the library’s staff and equipment needed to serve the public will be deployed to facilities in Union County’s four incorporated municipalities.
“We plan to be operating out of the Jonesville Municipal Complex, the Carlisle Town Hall, Jacob’s Well in Lockhart, and the USC Union Library,” Drinkwine said. “They’ve agreed to share space with us.”
As for when the library will begin operating out of these locations, Drinkwine said “we don’t know yet, it will be as soon as we’re able to.”
One thing that is certain, however, is that the library will not be moving back to the Graham Cash building. Drinkwine said that she and the rest of the library staff are “pretty saddened and disappointed” that locating there did not work out.
Drinkwine said that the public can contact the library with any questions or concerns via email at [email protected] She said they can also contact the library through its Facebook page. While the library is still taking messages at its main phone number (864-427-7140), Drinkwine said this is not the best way to get in touch with library personnel as they only check it periodically.
Dealing with the aftermath of the flooding of the Graham Cash building including moving its equipment and materials to new locations is proving costly to the library which has set up a Go Fund Me page — https://www.gofundme.com/devastating-flood-damage-to-library — to enable the public to contribute to the effort to get the library open again. All donations to the library’s Go Fund Me page are tax deductible and Drinkwine said Monday it is linked to the library’s Facebook page.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.