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Glen Ellyn library reopens in time for Abraham Lincoln exhibit

Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 12:00 p.m. CDT

GLEN ELLYN – After sustaining significant damage from 5 feet of floodwater in its basement, as well as sewage water on the first floor, the Glen Ellyn Public Library reopened April 27 in time for its Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Opening Gala.

Severe weather caused the library to close April 18 after the facility’s sump pumps were unable to keep up with stormwaters, causing damage to equipment in the mechanical room. Sewage water also overflowed through the bathroom drains on the first floor, damaging carpet, dry wall and insulation, and requiring the area to be sanitized.

The reopening date for the library was originally set for April 29. But on April 22, Executive Director Dawn Bussey said she hoped the library would reopen in time for the Abraham Lincoln exhibit, which had been planned before the flood.

In a news release issued April 25, officials announced this hope would be a reality. The library resumed normal business hours April 27, and the opening gala ran from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

According to the release, some of the credit for the early reopening of the library belongs to members of the Glen Ellyn community, who provided tremendous support to the library.

“I am taken aback by the support we have received from the Glen Ellyn community,” marketing coordinator Anthony McGinn said in the release. “I received more than 100 emails [April 18] alone from library members making sure everyone was safe, some offering to volunteer, others offering donations. I cannot express how uplifting those messages have been to me and our staff.”

As crews continued to clean and repair the facility, library staff members were back at work last week providing curbside service to patrons. On April 24, Glen Ellyn Public Library members checked in 799 items and checked out 360 items using the service, according to the release.

The initial flood cleanup was completed by April 24, according to a library email. The library also needed a functional air-moving system and bathrooms to open as a public building.

“We have been working with the Planning and Development division of the village of Glen Ellyn to ensure safety,” McGinn said in the release. “Staff and library member safety is our No. 1 priority.”

The library recovery now has transitioned to restoration mode, which means certain areas will remain closed to the public. These include the meeting rooms, which require new carpeting and repaired drywall.

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