The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Sump pump problem puts strain on library budget


Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

Licia Johnson shows children the different types of soil and sand they will use to create their own wormeries, or worm homes, at Ironwood’s Carnegie Library on Monday.

IRONWOOD — Ironwood’s Carnegie Library has recently faced a series of financial blows.

A sump pump malfunction caused $2,500 worth of damage in the children’s room in the basement, said library director Elaine Erickson.

“This is why we really need an addition, instead of using the basement,” Erickson said Monday. An insurance claim has been filed, but it is unclear whether it will be reimbursed. The majority of damage was to the carpet.

The children’s room was closed for a week, right in the midst of the children’s summer reading program.

In another set back, computers, DVD players and e-readers were stolen, said Erickson. Other computers and monitors were damaged.

A person has been arrested for thefts and damages totaling more than $5,700, said Erickson.

“We’re saddened and disappointed that someone would do this to a library,” Erickson said.

This damage, too, may be covered by insurance.

Michigan penal fines, a major source of revenue for the library’s $150,000 budget, are down $10,000 from last year, to $33,000, said Erickson.

Despite financial difficulties, the summer programs for youth have had strong attendance, said Erickson. Monday afternoon, Licia Johnson from the North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters, Wis., taught 19 children about worms, and helped them to create their own wormeries to take home.

Previous activities this summer have included the annual Fancy Nancy Tea Party, a presentation about different types of rocks and geodes, jewelry making, henna tattoos, and a week long drama camp that culminated in a play at the Memorial Building. Funding for the summer activities come from Friends of the Carnegie Library fundraising and donation of proceeds from local poet Pat O’Neill’s readings and book sales.

The library is Michigan’s longest continuously operating library.


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