IOWA DERECHO 2020

Marion Library finds temporary home while in between locations after derecho

The library lost 10% to 20%of its material collection in the storm

The Marion Public Library roof is tarped on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. Cleanup continues around the area following the Aug.
The Marion Public Library roof is tarped on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. Cleanup continues around the area following the Aug. 10 derecho, which left hundreds of thousands of Iowans without power and displaced many whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the heavy winds. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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MARION — The Marion Public Library is continuing to set up shop for new temporary locations after the derecho tore through Eastern Iowa and damaged the library’s building, closing it for good.

Moving forward, the library will operate out of the former location of Campbell Steele Gallery in Uptown Marion, 1064 Seventh Ave.

The library has Wi-Fi and 11 available computers to use at the safe room in Thomas Park. On Monday, a second technology center was established at the Marion Columbus Club Hall, 5650 Kacena Ave., which will be the location for the library’s Department of Transportation kiosk.

The mobile library is set to kick off this week, as well.

The library’s programming staff has been working out of Lowe Park, setting up outdoor programming for families to do during the pandemic.

Library Director Hollie Trenary said she hoped the temporary Uptown Marion library location will be up and running by Sept. 8. The uptown location also will have a couple of technology stations.

“We’ve moved very quickly,” Trenary said. “We were able to secure the warehouse and new location in three days after the storm. It’s important for us to try and move fast and try to get some library services up and running as much as possible.”

Library patrons will be able to pick up materials on hold at the Uptown Marion location, as all the library’s materials are being held in a Marion warehouse, Trenary said.

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Trenary said the library staff still is assessing the material damage from the Aug. 10 storm. She estimated the library lost 10 percent to 20 percent of its collection.

“We’re still going through it,” she said. “That was mostly in our teen and children’s collection.

“In general, we are still reviewing the rest of the collection. The rest of the collection did sit for two weeks. Some will fare better than others. It will be awhile before we have a final number.”

The new library building still is set to break ground Oct. 1. Until the derecho hit, the library staff originally was planning to move only once.

“The worst thing to do is to move twice. But if that’s what it takes, it’s what it takes, and we will come back stronger than ever,” Trenary said.

In the midst of everything, the library got some good news in August: It received a $450,000 Community Attraction and Tourism grant from Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Enhance Iowa Board.

The grant will go toward the $18 million new library project, which will be built across the street from the current building. Because of storm damage, insurance may change how much the city will have to bond for, Trenary previously said. The city owns the current library building.

But from now until the new building’s doors open, the library will continue to adapt to the community’s needs, Trenary said.

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“Our goal is to be flexible and to go where the need is,” she said. “We have the availability to set up mobile tech stations where the need is. ...

“We’ve been appreciative of the community’s love and support. We’re ready to move forward.”

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

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