A Library’s Nightmare

The public library in Midland, Michigan has been having a rough time. Like other libraries across the country, they had to close their doors back in March when the coronavirus reached the area. About a week ago, heavy spring rains prompted a flash flood warning. Then both the Edenville Dam and and the Sandford Dam burst, sending water tumbling toward the town of Midland. Thousands of residents made an emergency evacuation.

What about the town’s library? One of the library employees stayed overnight in the library to monitor the situation. By 3:30 am, other workers joined her. Water had begun to seep into the lower level of the building, where they had about 80,000 books. They tried setting up barricades to block the flow of water but it only slowed the flooding.

Grace Dow library 2(photo credit: Midland Daily News)

The staff moved the books on the bottom shelves to the top of bookshelves or onto book carts, realizing that this was only a temporary solution.

Grace Dow library 1(photo credit: Midland Daily News)

They realized that the books would need to be taken out of the basement entirely, an overwhelming task. The elevator was out of commission, as it had turned itself off for safety reasons. Then the National Guard arrived to help. They carried all 80,000 books from the lower level up to the main level, using the stairs.

Grace Dow library 3(photo credit: Midland Daily News)

And so it was that all but about 120 books in the Midland public library were saved! The library will have to dry out the lower level and replace the carpeting as well as shelves that were damaged, but when that is done, they will still have those wonderful books to put back on the shelves. Kudos to both the library workers and National Guard!

Grace Dow library 4(photo credit: Midland Daily News)

Author: alwaysreading1

I'm just a person with an intense love for reading!

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