Water coming from a leak in the roof of Marion City Library soaked about 120 books in the fiction section during a rainstorm Thursday morning.
“The hard thing is that they were all good books,” Librarian Janet Marler said. “They weren’t just books that nobody reads. So we are definitely going to replace them.”
Some of the damaged titles included the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, books in the “Millennium” crime novel trilogy by Stieg Larsson, and various novels by John le Carre and Beverly Lewis, to name a few.
“Anytime a book gets wet it’s a bad thing,” Marler said. “The pages curl and the covers warp but mold is our major concern. It can spread.”
Luckily, about 20 books are salvageable, she said. However, books need to be completely dry before workers can return them to the shelves.
Library books are covered by insurance, Marler said. She estimated each book to have about a $25 value on average, and with about 100 books damaged; the potential cost is around $2,500.
As to the roof, Marler said the same spot leaked during a storm two weeks ago, but library workers were able to remove books, set up buckets, and put down plastic sheeting on the carpet before any damage could occur.
“The city fixed the roof after that,” she said. “It’s nobody’s fault these things happen. Tar roofs crack. But it makes me paranoid there might be a leak somewhere else.”
City administrator Roger Holter said city crews covered a suspected spot with a tar patch after the first leak.
However, after this most recent leak Holter put Marler in contact with a professional roofer. He said the city would pick up the tab for the second patch job.