Tea And Catastrophe At The Library

To The Editor:

On Saturday, January 4, the library was hosting a tea in the Genealogy Room to celebrate the return of Downton Abbey when a catastrophe worthy of inclusion in that series befell us. A section of the sprinkler system burst, sending torrents of water through the ceilings of the Director’s Office, Technical Services, Circulation and the Children’s Department. In keeping with British tradition, the staff kept calm and carried on, ushering our tea attendees in all their costumed finery into the frigid outdoors. We secured the building until Newtown Hook & Ladder arrived, very swiftly, to take control. As always they responded for Newtown.

On behalf of the board and staff, I want to thank not only Newtown Hook & Ladder but the many individuals and companies we called on in our hour of need. After I contacted Stan Perrone, his brother Steve arrived and has been a presence at the library almost around the clock, restoring power; J.P.Maguire, another Newtown business, quickly and calmly restored a sense of order and progress; our HVAC, alarm, and sprinkler companies also responded to assess the situation. The Network Support company also responded quickly to assess the damage to our computer network and to begin the work of restoring it to service. Board members have come by to support and encourage us – and supplied lunch Monday for the Department Heads working to restore library services. The Newtown Bee, upon whom we rely to keep the town informed of our situation, brought us lunch Tuesday. We are grateful to all of the groups and individuals who have offered support.

As always, the C. H. Booth Library puts its patrons first. We will reopen when the building is restored and safe. We are working to provide remote services and relocate some programs.  Please read The Bee and their online presence at www.newtownbee.com as well as the library’s website www.chboothlibrary.org for more information.

Again, thank you Newtown.


Beryl Harrison

Acting Director

The C.H. Booth Library

25 Main Street, Newtown                 January 8, 2014

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