Community

Library boosters plan fundraiser

When the Manchester Library’s frozen pipes burst, it did considerable damage to the building. - Courtesy photo
When the Manchester Library’s frozen pipes burst, it did considerable damage to the building.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Friends of the Manchester Library will host a festive musical holiday benefit to be held at Manchester Elementary School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 15.

Live music and a special holiday sale of books, holiday ornaments, jewelry and other items for gift-giving will be featured.

The musical groups featured include Laura Farr and Steve Allen, creating holiday music together for fifteen years with the classical guitar, the violin, hand bells, and vocals.

They will be play everything from a rousing rendition of “Jingle Bells” to “O Holy Night” and will also be providing song books for the audience to join in the caroling.

Cash donations for the library recovery efforts will be accepted.

Members of the Friends of the Manchester Library and the Kitsap Regional Library will be there to answer questions.

It will also be an opportunity for library patrons and public supporters to donate to toward the costs of the $5,000 insurance deductable and other uncovered expenses.

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It now appears the Manchester Branch of Kitsap Regional Library could be closed between one and two months to repair water damage from the storm and power outage that occurred just prior to Thanksgiving.

Everything is being removed from the building so the full extent of the damage can be determined.

Once that occurs, KRL will be able to offer a better estimate of the time required for repairs.

KRL is working closely with the Friends of Manchester Library, the private nonprofit corporation that owns the building, to secure the materials from the facility and to begin repairs as quickly as possible.

All KRL staff members who work at the Manchester branch have been reassigned to other duties while the branch is closed.

Patrons who normally use the Manchester branch are being served at the Port Orchard branch instead.

“We have a core group of library patrons who love this library so much that they are very upset this has happened,” said Dee D’Haem, Manchester Branch Manager. “They keep coming to the branch to see if there is something they can do to help.

“This is their library. They feel very protective of it. They are struggling to find some way they can help. They are concerned that it won’t be the same.”

D’Haem said the best way for people to help is to become involved with the Friends of Manchester Library.

The organization depends on a relatively small group of active community volunteers who raise money throughout the year to maintain and improve the Manchester Library building.

People willing to commit their time and energy to helping the FOML can contact the organization at PO Box 128, Manchester, WA 98353.

The second best way to help is to donate funds to FOML or to the KRL Foundation.

Donations to both groups are tax-deductible, and donations to the Foundation can be earmarked for use at Manchester.

The Friends of Manchester Library will need funds to replace items the organization lost in the incident.

It’s also possible that the insurance will not cover the entire cost of the loss.

FOML recently spent $20,000 to replace the carpet in the building. It has not yet been determined if the carpet has been damaged beyond repair.

Responding to the emergency at Manchester has required both quick action and a significant amount of detail work by the KRL Facilities and Information Technology staffs.

As of Dec. 2, a week after the damage was first discovered, moisture in the building was back down to acceptable levels.

In fact, quick work by KRL staff and members of the FOML prevented damage to the vast majority of the items on library shelves and in the Friends book sale area.

Library staff and FOML volunteers removed all the books, magazines and media from the library by the end of the day.

Those items — about 12,000 in the KRL collection and about 3,000 books and other items that the Friends have collected for sale — will be placed in two heated storage units in South Kitsap.

The library has obtained two storage pods to house all the library furniture and shelving.

The Port of Manchester, which owns the land on which the library building sits, has given its OK to leaving those storage containers in the library parking lot.

Furniture and shelving will be dis-assembled and moved to the storage pods on Friday.

The goal was to have the building emptied of all contents by the end of the week, and to begin demolition of the damaged portions of ceilings and walls.

Once that takes place, KRL expects to be able to get bids from contractors for the repairs, and a better estimate of when the work can be completed and library service restored.

In the meantime, all the new titles, large print, Classics to Go and Lucky Day books, along with the music CDs, DVDs and audio books from the Manchester collection have been redistributed to the other eight KRL branch libraries.

The remaining items in the collection, about 12,000 books, have been boxed for storage until the library reopens.

Those books will not be available to KRL patrons through the normal “holds” process. In addition, library staff secured the 3,000 items the Friends had gathered for sale.

Those have also been boxed and stored.

Back issues of magazines from Manchester will be discarded from the KRL system and will be offered to residents at the Retsil Veterans Home and to other senior residential facilities in South Kitsap.

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