Less than a week after it reopened, La Scie's library closes after fire

·2 min read

The public library in La Scie, N.L., has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but opened its doors to the public again Tuesday.

Just five days later, a fire means it's closed again for the foreseeable future.

The library is one of the services housed in the town building, which also contains the fire hall, the council chambers and a family resource centre.

A fire that started Saturday morning turned the building into a "writeoff," according to La Scie Mayor Kimberly Morey.

Librarian Krista-Lee Diamond said she's not been inside the building herself, but from what she's heard, she suspects the materials in the library are beyond saving.

"The adjuster had went through and the town clerk, and she told me it didn't smell of smoke … but I have a feeling it's probably all smoke-damaged," Diamond said.

While the flames didn't reach the library portion of the building, Diamond said the smoke damage would mean the roughly 1,000 books will need to be tossed.

Barbara Martin Tibbo/Facebook
Barbara Martin Tibbo/Facebook

"You have to replace them because I'm guessing like with the smoke damage and stuff, we wouldn't want our patrons handling damaged books," she told CBC's On The Go.

"We had a great selection of books — it's sad, really."

Diamond said it's too early to say what the future of the La Scie library will be. Meanwhile, Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries is advising patrons to visit the Baie Verte Public Library, or request books-by-mail services.

For Diamond, the loss of the library so soon after it reopened is a tough blow.

"It's important. I noticed like with COVID when we closed down and our public couldn't come in, I'd get messages constantly," she said.

"Even if they're not in there to read — like, we have two computers for our patrons to use, they can come and print, fax, so now that's gone again, for the meantime. We just recently opened back up to the public Tuesday so we had three days, and then the fire happened, so we're now closed again. I think it will be missed a great deal."

Diamond said she still has "no idea" what it will mean for her.

"I think there's an investigator coming today, so we just have to wait for our headquarters to decide what our next steps are," she said.

"We need to hear word that the building is no longer accessible for us — which we know, but it's probably not in writing yet, so I guess there's probably a few steps we have to take before we know for sure, but I'm thinking we won't know any time soon."

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