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Library closed for plumbing issues this week

Only downtown affected, other branches open

Morgantown’s downtown library is closed until at least Jan. 4, while repairs caused by faulty water pipes continue.

However, library director Sarah Palfrey said all other branches in the county are open, and the digital library is still available. Curbside book pickup is also available from 9.a.m.-4 p.m. today and Wednesday. Books can be requested online or by phone.

The downtown library was forced to close after water flooded the administration area in the basement  Dec. 20, Palfrey said. She thanked the Morgantown Fire Department, which responded to help pump out the water.

She is hopeful the library can reopen next week. However until everything is fixed, the water needs to be shut off in the building.

Library staff can’t work all day without being able to use the restroom or have the ability to wash their hands in the middle of a pandemic, Palfrey said.

All the carpet downstairs needs replaced and some programming and craft supplies — basically anything on the ground in the administration area — needed to be thrown away. However, none of the book collections or anything mechanical was damaged, Palfrey said.

 There were a number of smaller floods recently, but it took some time to troubleshoot the issue, in pipes that are 12 feet down. 

Palfrey said the Morgantown Utility Board has solved the main problem, which was outside the building. A lift station pump is being installed.

The downtown library is an older building, and Palfrey said there is a contingency fund for repairs such as these.

“It’s just not our favorite way to spend money.” 

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