Hudson library children’s room undergoes water damage repairs

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Photo by/Ed Karvoski Jr.
Water damage from a steam pipe leak in the Hudson Public Library children’s room.

By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer

HUDSON – The Hudson Public Library recently reopened. However, the children’s room has remained closed until further notice due to water damage that occurred in early February. Also closed are the handicap accessible entrance and elevator.

Repairs for steam pipe leak

A steam pipe leaked in the children’s room near the elevator and accessible entrance, noted Library Director Aileen Sanchez-Himes.

“Initially, what was thought to be a minor leak manifested into a greater issue,” she said. “Industrial fans were brought in to mitigate some of the dampness. The damage was far more extensive, requiring an insurance claim.”

About half of the children’s room around the circulation desk was affected. Carpeting, shelving units and the children’s collection of nonfiction books in the damaged area needed to be removed. The ceiling and walls in that area needed to be opened. 

The saturated carpeting will be replaced. Shelving units and books were salvaged. During the repairs, those shelves and books are housed in three storage containers adjacent to the library. 

First, the steam pipe was repaired. The library closed its current services on the main floor from May 21 to 23 when a contractor did most of the repairs. Among the repairs needed were framing to walls and flooring, installing a multi-layer subfloor system, and priming and painting the replaced walls.

Accommodating library patrons

Assistance is being offered for library patrons who typically use the elevator and ground-floor accessible entrance equipped with an automated door. 

Sanchez-Himes explained, “If anyone needs anything in the collection that we can retrieve, they can give us a call [978-568-9644], come to the library and we would be happy to provide curbside service for them.” 

Children’s items and virtual offerings

Young library patrons and their families are still being served while the children’s room is closed. A selection of print and audio books along with other items from the children’s room are displayed in the adult department.

Photo by/Ed Karvoski Jr.
Books for elementary to middle school students displayed in the adult department.

These and additional items are available to be borrowed, noted Children’s Librarian Jillian Bennett.

“We can access much of our collection,” she said. “Even if an item is not available in the adult department, a staff member is able to go and retrieve it. There’s a nice sampling of children’s items that are available to borrow.”

Virtual children’s programs are being offered. Plans are also underway to launch the children’s summer reading program Monday, June 14.

“We’re gearing up for a lot of programs for the summer,” Bennett proclaimed. “It’s a variety with some virtual, but for the most part we’ll be outside for in-person programs in the community.”

Preparing for children’s room reopening 

New carpeting for the damaged area has been ordered and scheduled to be installed soon after delivery. A final cleaning will take place. Shelving units and books will be brought back inside.

The exact date for the children’s room reopening is to be determined. 

Sanchez-Himes added, “We hope to know soon when we can welcome families back to the children’s room.”

Find updates for the children’s room reopening and programs at HudsonPublicLibrary.com and facebook.com/HudsonPublicLibrary.