Several stacks of the adult fiction section of the Jake Epp Public Library in Steinbach are inaccessible at this time.  

Katarina Garrecht, Co-interim Library Director says she heard news on Saturday, that there was water damage to 100s of books in the library.

“Your heart sinks quite a bit when you see that books have been water damaged. We've been building up the collection and renewing books, right, or I should say, replacing old books and things like that. So yeah, it was definitely a heart-sinking moment, for sure.” 

This past Saturday morning at 9:30am their staff arrived at the library and noticed the water damage. She says at this time they don’t have all the details as to why it happened.  

“We have the area cordoned off, but we recommend holding off on bringing small children to the library for the time being, or heavily supervising them while they are in the building. Our apologies for the inconvenience. We are working on getting it all fixed up as fast as we can. We were advised by the insurance company to cordon off the area affected.” 

Garrecht notes, it was decided on Saturday, to immediately close the library.  

"Because that was when we needed to really assess what was going on and we had to bring in maintenance as well. Mondays we are technically always closed, so we weren't open to the public anyways today, but we've assessed, and we've been advised that we can open the rest of the building tomorrow, as long as that area is cordoned off and no one goes in that area so.” 

Garrecht notes they haven’t assessed the damage completely, though they have done a walk-through of the affected area. 

She says the Jake Epp Library staff would like visitors to know that while their doors will be open tomorrow (Tuesday), Garrecht asks that parents and guardians would please keep an eye on their children.  

“Because, yeah, like you know, it's cordoned off. It's just tape, right? So, they can easily run underneath that tape and stuff. But we will try to also manage the area as well. But we definitely didn't want to close the whole building down completely because we have people coming to study here and whatnot.”

Garrecht notes, they are waiting for a damage estimate from their insurance company, which she says could be quite a while, but they will continue to keep the library open during regular hours of operation. 


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