Flooding Updates



Greetings everyone -- I want to take a moment to update you, our wonderful library community, on the status of repairs to the Children's Department flooding situation.

It is unfortunate that we've had to remain closed downstairs as long as we have, but this problem has proven to be a bit of a conundrum even for the many professionals we've had come in to try to help us resolve the issue. Abonmarche presented action steps a few weeks ago and we began working through those steps, starting with making sure all drains and sump pumps throughout the building were completely cleared, routed out, and working properly. That work was completed, yet we still had water seeping in and flooding a portion of the Children's Department. At the regular meeting of the Library Board that was held on April 24th, the Board approved proceeding with step two... installation of two additional sump pumps in the library (one of which will be placed directly in the corner in the Children's Department that has been the primary problem).

I met with representatives from Abonmarche and City Plumbing today as we discussed the plan of action going forward. Concrete demolition work, sump pump installation, and the construction of an enclosure for the corner in Children's should begin the week of May 14th. While there will still be additional repair steps that will need to take place, these initial steps should be completed by the end of the month, just in time for the outstanding summer reading programs we have planned for this year. Rest assured that all involved with this project are working as quickly and diligently as possible to get us up and running AND to do the repairs properly. The Library Staff, the Library Board, and I all appreciate the continued patience and support we've had from the community. We've been as despondent about the Children's Department being inaccessible as many of you have been. However, we will always err on the side of caution in keeping our littlest patrons (and their parents) safe while we continue our water remediation efforts. We are planning a grand "re-opening" of the Children's Department once the sump pump installation is done, so watch for that celebratory announcement in the coming weeks. Thank you, Stephanie Masin -- Library Director



CHILDREN’S DEPARTMENT UPDATE  (as of March 29, 2018)

We are working as quickly as possible to gather estimates for three different potential repair options for the flooding situation in the chidren's department.   It is our hope that we will have those estimates in hand within the next week and that repairs will begin soon after the library board decides which option to pursue.   The Library Board will meet soon thereafter to decide which repair option to pursue and we plan to begin repairs as soon as that decision is made.   We will continue to provide our regular programming for children, as well as make sure that materials are available for checkout.



CHILDREN’S DEPARTMENT UPDATE  (as of March 10, 2018)

For the foreseeable near future, the Children's Department will remain closed. The good news is, the books have not been damaged, rather we are just looking at flooring and walls that will need to be worked on and replaced. We currently still have a significant amount of standing water. A local civil engineering firm is working with us on a repair/solution. It appears that the water table/ground water is too high in this area and that is why a) the initial repair we attempted in the fall didn't work and b) why we aren't seeing the water recede much. It is likely that this will end up being a fairly major repair that will take some time, money, and effort to address.

At this point it will, at minimum, take at least a month to not only complete whatever exterior repairs are recommended, but to also have additional water damage remediation and repair services completed indoors. With all of that said, we are committed to continuing to try to provide access to our awesome Children's services and materials as best we can while also keeping everyone safe. We are still able to maintain our various Children's programs so reserve your spot today as those programs fill up quickly! We have also been moving some of our Children's materials upstairs AND we are happy to pull any books you'd like us to put on hold for you. You can either call us (269-983-7167) to pull materials OR you can put items on hold through our catalog.

Also, keep in mind that we do have reciprocal borrowing with almost all the other libraries in Berrien County -- so you can use your St. Joseph library card at other libraries in the area (once you set up an account at those libraries with your St. Joe card). I will continue to keep you informed via our Facebook and library web page. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and concern. It is appreciated.     

-Stephanie Masin - Library Director