January started out with a bang at Curtis Library – literally. After three weeks of freezing weather, a pipe leading to one of the library’s sprinklers froze and broke. The result was a cascade of water flowing down the walls and out of the ceiling in the library’s west entrance for 10 minutes until the pipe was shut down.

Thanks to the quick thinking and acting on the part of the library’s staff and the Brunswick Fire Department, the damage was about as minimal as it could be in that situation. The library was emptied out in less than 5 minutes, books were moved away from the waterfall, and a quick-thinking staff person even stuffed rags into the elevator door entrance so water couldn’t flow in there.

The result?

We lost seven computers, three boxes of books, some carpeting, some pipes and insulation, and a lot of sheetrock and paint. Almost all of these items should be covered by insurance as best we can tell at this time. Several wonderful library supporters immediately wrote checks to help cover whatever expenses would not be covered by insurance. Their generosity and concern made a difficult situation much better.

On behalf of the Curtis Library Board of Directors, I wanted to say a heartfelt “thank you” to our community, which has been so supportive of the library during the post-flood recovery. I also wanted to express my sincere appreciation to the Brunswick Fire Department, as well as the Topsham and Freeport fire departments, all of whom arrived to help. We are indeed fortunate to have such an amazing group of people working in our community.

The library will be in a state of “transition” for approximately the next 4 to 6 weeks as walls are rebuilt and painted. We will work hard to keep the disruption to a minimum and thank the community ahead of time for their patience. Curtis Library is already back to its normal hustle and bustle and when all is repaired, it will be better than ever!

Elisabeth Doucett, Executive Director
Curtis Memorial Library