Carthage library to close for HVAC repairs

Mar. 11—CARTHAGE, Mo. — Julie Yockey, director of the Carthage Public Library, is hoping a long-standing problem with the library's heating and air conditioning system might be fixed soon, but the library will have to close for a few days to make the final fix.

The library announced on its Facebook page that it would close starting on Monday, March 13, and will have to remain closed for three to five days so the electricity to the building can be cut off to allow workers to make the final repairs.

"The library will not have electricity for a period of time and there will be no heat and/or air conditioning," Yockey said in a note on Facebook. "We are hoping this closure is for 3-4 days. Patrons will not be able to access the library or the Steadley Family Legacy Center during this time, and they will receive no fines on your materials. The book drop will be closed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we remind you to always check our website or Facebook page for updates as to when the library will reopen."

Yockey said in an email to the Globe that a contractor has been working on the system since October 2022 and this is not the first time the library has been closed during this project.

"After two years of dealing with a failing HVAC system, which included incredible rising energy bills along with high amounts of humidity, the CPL began their complete renovation of the 15-year-old system on Oct. 24," she said. "The library was closed for about three weeks at that time. With no heat or air and electricity to operate the library system it had to be done. Our patrons were then and have been nothing but patient with the closure and it is not our first rodeo with big maintenance issues. We had the water disaster/sprinkler malfunctions in 2020."

In July 2020, the library's sprinkler system malfunctioned overnight, dumping about 100,000 gallons of water into the library and requiring months of repairs to damaged floors, walls, ceilings and other areas.

Yockey said the project will cost the library a little less than $500,000. The Kent D. and Mary L. Steadley Memorial Trust is paying half the cost and the Helen S. Boylan Foundation is pitching in $10,000 for repairs to the library's garden, which has been damaged during construction.