When the Madison Library staff came into work to open the library on May 21, there was a large pool of water on the east side of the library.
“We were fortunate to get the fire department,” said Valerie Lloyd, director of Madison Library. “They came over, they got a ladder, they looked up in the ceiling, and saw that it was a pipe that had come off. A drain pipe had probably too much water that came in, and so that pipe failed and all of the insulation that had surrounded it was soaked, too, so it was saturated and couldn’t hold any more, and it dripped water, too.”
Lloyd said the library staff made phone calls and got help primarily from the Rexburg Fire Department and from Advanced Cleaning and Restoration.
“A huge thank you to the fire department for helping us,” Lloyd said. “We’re their neighbors here at the library, so bless their hearts for coming over.”
Lloyd said about 43 books from the fiction section were damaged, which can be replaced fairly easily. She said no special or rare collections were damaged. She said quick thinking from library staff helped reduce the damage.
“Because we caught this so soon, we didn’t have as much damage,” Lloyd said. “The computers were up on the desk, so that saved those.”
Lloyd said the library had to take out ceiling tiles, which, in part, brought wires hanging down, so they shut the electricity off in that portion of the building.
“We have insurance through IPRMP just for cases like this,” Lloyd said. “We hope we never have to use it, and here we are.”
Emily Parry, an employee at Madison Library, said library employees are grateful the damage was not serious, and they continue to work as things were previous to the water leak.
“It was all, like, insane,” Parry said. “I mean it had just spread, and it was literally raining. And so they had a bunch of trash cans back there, any buckets and pitchers and bowls we could get back there, and started trying to catch the water, and then we had to get some of the books off the end shelves because some of them got damaged.”
Parry said she was working the morning of the leak and was urgently asked to assist the other ladies with some kind of water emergency.
“I was just in the back getting ready to shelf some books, and then one of the other ladies came in, and she was like, ‘Can you help us out? We have some kind of emergency with water,” Parry said.
Parry said she asked if they needed towels or buckets, but a co-worker explained to her that those things would not help the situation. She said the library staff coralled the water into the shape of a lake and soaked it up.
“We came in on Saturday, and we open at ten,” Parry said. “We didn’t even open, so that’s all we did for, like, three to four hours was just try and coral that water.”
Parry said roofers came in and that they lost a couple of ceiling tiles.
“We were really lucky because a majority of the water was right between the computers and the fiction shelves, which is only about three to four feet, so if it had been over by a foot, we would have lost more books, or we would have, you know, lost a couple computers, but luckily we just lost some books,” Parry said.
The library was closed the following business day but has since opened and prepares for its summer reading programs, according to the Madison Library District website.