Archive for Thursday, August 25, 2005

Director: Library building is safe

August 25, 2005

Sometimes, legitimate reasons exist for the public to be concerned about health and safety. But this isn't one of those times, Basehor Community Library officials say.

Library officials want the public to know that the library building is safe, there is no danger to patrons and every safety precaution that can be taken has been taken.

"We feel confident that we've taken all the steps and handled this in the proper way," library director Carla Kaiser said. She added, "We feel like we've done a good job to take of the immediate problem."

Now, the back story.

After heavy rains last week, water leaked into the library and seeped behind a bookcase in the library's southern wing. Upon inspection, library officials found a mold patch, "maybe the size of a basketball," on the wall behind the shelf, Kaiser said.

The library wing, which contains materials such as large print books, audio books and some VHS tapes, has been sealed and agencies have inspected the mold to determine the best way to fix the problem, Kaiser said.

"We didn't know how much of a problem we had," she said. "We knew we needed to bring somebody in to look at it. ... That's the way we proceeded."

It's business as usual in all other sections of the library; the only wing not available to the public is the room under seal. It will remain under quarantine until library officials can determine it's safe for re-opening, Kaiser said.

On Tuesday, two separate clean-up companies inspected the damage and removed samples of the mold to determine the next course of action. How long the wing will be closed depends on results from the samples removed; the results should be returned in the three to four days, Kaiser said.

The company also inspected other sections of the library to determine if there is a more widespread problem, Kaiser said.

"We haven't had any other leaks that would lead us to believe there is a mold problem in other areas, but we are having the tests done so we'll know for sure," she said.

Kaiser said a representative of one of the inspecting companies indicated that if the problem area is less than 10 square feet -- which it appears to be -- then procedure calls for "containing it, removing it, and repairing it."

She said the library is committed to learning "how did this happen and how can we fix it for the future."

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