Hilton Head library bookstore recovers from sprinkler dousing

zmurdock@beaufortgazette.comMarch 19, 2014 

Carlos Mondes, an employee of SERVPRO of Beaufort County, uses an extractor to suction the water from the carpet in the entrance of the Hilton Head Island Library on Sept. 17, 2013.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

The Hilton Head Island library and its bookstore are back to normal six months after a broken fire sprinkler drenched the shop and library entrance.

The bookstore now has new walls and restored shelves packed with books for sale to help support the library, said Lynne Miller, president of the Friends of the Library, a nonprofit group that donates materials and conducts programs at the library. Its fundraisers include selling used books at the store just inside the library's front entrance, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the group's donations, Miller said.

As such, the flooding and monthlong cleanup were a major setback, Miller said.

However, library members have been quick to donate books, time and money to get the group back on its feet, library manager Mary Jo Berkes said.

"The community has been so responsive and so in tune to what happened, we're just really happy," Miller said. "We're still a little behind on the balance sheet, but we're catching up."

That's good news for the library, which needs the financial help to supplement its stretched budget, Berkes said. Last year, the Friends of the Library purchased several new computers the library couldn't have afforded otherwise, she added.

"If it weren't for them, I wouldn't know what we'd do, honestly," Berkes said of the group.

A county investigation into the mishap indicated that the 220 fire sprinklers in the library were part of a voluntary recall in 2001. They have now been replaced, and county officials say no other sprinkler systems in county-owned buildings contain the recalled components.

Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.

Related content:

  • Hilton Head library only county-owned building with recalled fire sprinkler parts, Oct. 19, 2013: http://bit.ly/1ddSawD
  • Sprinkler that doused Hilton Head library being investigated for possible recall, Sept. 28, 2013: http://bit.ly/1ddSfAw
  • Insurance to pay for Hilton Head library damage from broken fire sprinkler, Sept. 24, 2013: http://bit.ly/1g1BbNr

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