Library to close during repairs

Shayne Mazur

The Greybull Public Library will be closed to patrons until further notice starting Friday, Jan. 27 due to floor abatement and carpet replacement in the building. Amenities like curbside pickup and the book drop box won’t be available during the repairs. 

 “The library is not closing forever,” said Ted Menke, chair of the Big Horn County Library board. “It is reopening and it will be back to its capacity—and much better, we hope—but we just don’t know the timelines.”

Patrons are advised to utilize the Big Horn County Library’s services in Basin for the time being. Basin “will pick up the slack of all the regular library services,” such as book checkouts and returns, the S.T.E.M. program and Story Time. 

Greybull Library Manager Cynthia Garay added that individuals can hold onto their books until further notice or drop them off at the Basin library.

The meeting room will remain closed as well, but the board has spoken with the Town and “anyone who needs to meet…they’ll be able to meet in the city council chambers.”

“The city has been very accommodating about trying to pick up the slack until we can get things replaced,” Menke said.

Tyrell Dewitt of AAA Water Damage Restoration LLC will handle the abatement this upcoming week, after which new carpet will be put down, hopefully the following week.

“We are at the mercy of several factors,” said Menke. 

He added that Greybull librarians have been working extra hours and weekends to move the books, shelves and furniture to additional spaces so repairs can take place.

“The books are all boxed or being boxed now. To move 10,000 books out of that library has been a major project, and the library staff have gone 1,000% above the call of duty. It’s important that our patrons and the community know that they’re doing the best they can.”

The goal is to have everything in storage by the beginning of next week so the carpet can be removed, hence the hiatus of curbside pickup services. The library has also been “weeding” the collection while boxing it up, a process in which books that haven’t been checked out for an extended period of time are pulled from the shelves.

Nevertheless, Menke said they are in desperate need of boxes. Anything that can be spared or donated would be greatly appreciated. 

“If there’s any source of cardboard boxes, we need them,” he said, noting the library has already tapped several businesses in Greybull, Lovell, Basin and Worland.

While the board is still waiting for the “clear” in certain insurance areas, someone has come through and priced the books lost to water damage. Outside of the annuals and “probably two boxes of books” that were destroyed, most of the stock escaped unscathed.

Another upside is that pipe repairs in the building have been completed. Menke said workers “backed up 15 to 20 feet and capped the pipe because the pipe that broke was supplying a tap out front that hadn’t been used in a long time.” Because there’s an outside spigot on the museum’s side of the building, Menke said there’s no plan to replace that particular pipe.

While Menke admitted there are deadlines the board is working toward, they don’t want to “get ahead of the horse” while several factors remain up in the air.