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Local

Donations sought to repair $200,000 in damage to Sterling's Carnegie library

Donations sought to repair $200,000 in damage to Sterling's Carnegie library

STERLING – Mystery solved.

A mold-damaged copper cornice and deteriorating wood supports in Sterling Public Library’s original wing, built in 1903, are the cause of years worth of water damage.

About $200,000 is needed for repairs – at least some of which officials hope to raise through donations, library Director Jennifer Slaney said.

The initial goal is $50,000. The idea is to keep from using as many tax dollars as possible, but whatever is not donated will come from the library’s budget.

“If we start using our tax dollars, then the library as a whole will suffer, because we only get so much money,” Slaney said.

Repairs are expected to start in late April or early May.

The source of the leaks was discovered when bricks on the building’s original wing were tuck-pointed this fall. In addition, flat portions of the siding have warped.

Over the years, Slaney and her staff have dealt with too many buckets filling up with water, a situation that nearly came to a breaking point with the recent snowmelt.

“We have water leaking into the building, and I finally said enough was enough,” Slaney said. “... it was really starting to show and get into the main part of the library.”

The Carnegie library is one of 106 in Illinois funded from 1903 to 1914 by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Only 69 remain public libraries.

“There’s no way we cannot have the project done,” Slaney said. “We’re hoping that this will solve our problem.”

To help

Cash and check donations can be dropped of or sent to Sterling Public Library, 102 W. Third St., Sterling, IL 61081.

Make checks payable to Sterling Public Library, and write siding repairs in the memo field.

There’s also a donation jar at the main desk.

Call 815-625-1370 for more information.

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