ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Public Library will be closed during its renovation project, beginning Monday and continuing through March 28, according to a news release.
The library, 1 S. Sixth Ave., St. Charles, is scheduled to reopen at 9 a.m. March 29. The closure will include removal of asbestos that the construction crew found in the vinyl composite tile in the Reference/Info Commons area on the library’s ground floor, according to the release.
The tiles are underneath the carpet in the reference area, and neither the public nor the library staff were exposed to the asbestos, Library Director Pam Leffler said.
“It’s not uncommon ... for this type of material to be found because it was used so prevalently in construction in the past,” Leffler said of the asbestos. “We just want to make sure we’re dealing with it in the most responsible manner.”
The asbestos was found in an area that was added to the library in 1964. The area was sealed off after the discovery, all renovation work in that section stopped and the tile was tested to be certain asbestos was there, Leffler said.
The actual tiles in question were not disturbed or broken, which is further evidence that this asbestos did not harm anyone, Leffler said.
The library’s computer lab, which is next to the Reference area, still is open and will remain so through Sunday. The standing-only computer terminals right outside the lab will likely be removed by the end of today, Leffler said.
The library’s ongoing renovation project began in February and will include new carpeting in the Carnegie Meeting Room and mezzanine level, additional computer work stations, furniture replacement and retrofitting lights.
Due dates for library materials checked out from now until Monday have an extended loan period and will not be due until the library reopens. Any fines accrued for items due during that week will be waived, the release said.
During the closing, books and media items borrowed from the library may be returned using any of the library’s four outdoor book drop locations.
Library staff will work from home as much as possible during the closure and be available through library email, live chat or text during regular library hours, Leffler said.
Patrons can monitor the library’s website at www.stcharleslibrary.org for updates on construction progress.