May 2, 2022:
November 4, 2021 Update:
There’s a mix of good and bad news in our latest storm-damage update:
The good news: Curbside service will soon expand. Current service only offers materials from other libraries in our system. The cleaning crew is working on glass removal now, so all Hudson materials will be available for check out soon, probably after Thanksgiving.
The bad news: Patrons won’t be able to access the library building until early 2022. That’s the earliest timeline for carpet replacement.
While cleaning is underway from the Sept. 17 storm, the reopening delay is related to carpet replacement. The scope of the project requires the city to seek requests for proposals from firms. The carpet replacement is part of the larger construction project.
“We know patrons are disappointed. It’s demoralizing for staff, too. There’s nothing more depressing for staff than a quiet, empty library,” Library Director Shelley Tougas said.
The powerful winds sprayed shards of glass throughout the building. The children’s section was hit hard. No vacuum or cleaning system can ensure complete glass removal.
“Our little ones crawl on this carpet. They sit and page through books, and they play with our toys. We have to make sure they’re safe.”
Work on the library’s exterior wall and roof won’t start until spring, and supply-chain issues could affect progress. Damage estimates aren’t yet available.
Library programs are being held off site thanks to support from the Phipps Center for the Arts, the YMCA, the Hudson School District, Urban Olive & Vine, Faith Community Church and Hop & Barrel. Community members can find dates and locations on the library’s website and Facebook page.
“We’re grateful so many community partners and individuals have offered their assistance,” Tougas said. “Our spirits have been lifted by the support and love from the communities we serve.”
PAST UPDATES DIRECTOR’S STORM DAMAGE NARRATIVE
The Phipps shared video from a security camera that captured the minute leading up to the library getting hit. It’s on the library’s Facebook page:
Meg Heaton interviewed me about the storm on River Channel’s Western Wisconsin Journal. Check it out here: