Dells Kilbourn Library raising funds for flooded libraries

October 3, 2018

Kay James

For the Events

Two Sauk County libraries suffered damages in the floods of August and September, and the Friends of the Kilbourn Library in Wisconsin Dells are holding a fundraising book sale to help.

Both the LaValle and Rock Springs libraries suffered damage during the floods.

The Kilbourn Library Friends are having a bag book sale starting Oct. 5, at the library, 620 Elm St., Wisconsin Dells. The book sale will be on an honor system with the Friends asking for a donation of $2 a bag for books. Bags will be provided. Rather than having a cashier, the sale will be self-service with buyers asked to drop their payments into a box. The sale will be open during the same hours as the library is — 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. It will continue until Oct. 13 or longer if the large quantity of books available has not sold.

Once the sale ends, the Friends will match any proceeds from the sale and give the money to the LaValle and Rock Springs libraries.

The LaValle Library, located in the village hall, had three to four feet of water in the building. Becky Blinston, president of the Library Board and of the Friends of the LaValle Library, said the repairs to the building will be paid for by the village, but furniture and supplies in the library were damaged including shelving and tables and chairs in the library’s children section, office chairs, two-thirds of the library book collections, six computers, counters, cupboard, office and library supplies, iPads, camera, laptops, Nooks, a storage shed and library chairs. Blinston said she did not have an estimate of replacement costs, but some will not be replaceable, such as newspaper archives.

“We have a limited budget to just get going,” she said. Book donations are appreciated, she said, but often the donated books are duplicates or ones the library can’t use. “If we get money, we can buy new books.” Any monetary donations can be sent to Friends of LaValle Library, P.O. Box 7, LaValle, WI 53941.

The LaValle Library is currently without a director.

The flood is not the first for the small library. It flooded in 2008, she said, and the library lost everything including the building. Then it got space in the village hall and that had some flooding in 2009 and 2010, but “not this badly.”

The Rock Springs Library is in search of a new building, said Library Director Katie Schofield. She said the library is exploring short-term and long-term options including looking at a short-time spot to host the library. The Rock Springs Library also flooded in 2008 and again a few years ago, she said.

The Rock Springs Library was able to get its books, supplies, furniture and shelving out before the flood hit, but the building was damaged.

Everything in the library went into a semi-trailer out of harm’s way, Schofield said. “The reason we were able to get everything out of the library in time was because of a huge crew of volunteers from the community who showed up to help. We feel so grateful to the community for their help preparing for and dealing with the aftermath of the flood, as well as the generosity of our surrounding communities who have helped in a variety of ways.”

The Friends of the Kilbourn Library rely on donations of used books to supply its annual book sales. Donations are tax deductible since the Friends are a 501c (3) organization. Except for this sale, proceeds from book sales have funded library projects such as the patio next to the children’s section; tables and umbrellas in the area around the library fountain, library programs and other library needs.

During the Friends sale, hardcover adult nonfiction and fiction, children’s books, paperbacks, cookbooks, pamphlets and magazines will be available. The sale will be in the large Community Room, to the left of the library entrance, and it will be filled with books.

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