Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 13, 2012

Library elevator closed for two weeks

Memorial Hall Library’s elevator is out of circulation for two weeks, for planned repairs.

It’s because the library’s elevator is shut down as it’s being repaired. The elevator’s electrical system was last serviced in 1987.

Memorial Hall Library Director Beth Mazin said it was simply time to update the elevator’s electrical system. The project went out to bid and is being handled by the town’s Plant and Facilities department. It will cost $62,000 to repair the elevator’s electrical system, according to Plant and Facilities Director Maria Maggio.

Meanwhile, the elevator is closed this week and next week, Dec. 10 to 21. So staffers are hauling books around the three-story building by foot.

“It’s something that had to be done so we picked the slowest weeks of the year to do it,” Mazin said.

There have been outages in the elevator caused by the faulty electrical panel, leaving patrons temporarily stranded.

Mazin agreed that the stairs to the main floor from the ground floor where the parking lot is located can be daunting to patrons, especially those with mobility issues. Those patrons rely on the elevator to get to the main floor or to a meeting room on the second floor.

Mazin is aware of the hardship for some and has set up a temporary, staffed reference desk near the children’s room. There is a computer there, too. A staffer will help look up a book title and even walk up the stairs to get a book, magazine or DVD for a patron who has difficulty doing it themselves.

“We’ll get whatever the person needs. We want to help. We know this is inconvenient but it had to be done,” Mazin said.

On the bright side, the elevator outage has library staffers actually talking about losing weight around the holidays.

“I guess we’re getting skinny,” said Mazin. “We are going up and down the stairs carrying books all the time.”

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