MASON — It is said that every cloud has a silver lining, and that was definitely the case at the Mason Public Library recently.
What started out as a water leak and ruined carpet turned into a newly remodeled children’s room. And, for a library system hit hard by budget cuts this year, it was a blessing.
Pam Thompson, director of the Mason County Library system, said a water leak was discovered in the children’s room of the Bend Area library. She and fellow workers knew the carpet would have to be replaced, but because the carpet was just barely over the insurance deductible, she didn’t contact the insurance company.
Library workers were in the process of moving books and shelves for the carpet installation and they suddenly called for her. When Thompson went to the back room, she saw the devastation. The leak had caused mold, which spread not only across the floor, but also up the walls.
Thompson then called the insurance company, and work began to replace and repair.
“I never felt the room was kid oriented,” Thompson said, “and since it had to be redone, we decided to make it bright.”
She said personnel tried to think of a universal children’s theme, and they all decided it should be Dr. Seuss inspired. After $6,000 in remodeled construction, most of which is being paid by insurance, the room is now a pleasure to the children and was completed just in time for summer reading.
Bright yellow walls, red doors and blue carpet greet the little readers. Quotes from Dr. Seuss books are printed on the walls, and fun props invite the children to use their imaginations.
Without the leak, such a project could never have taken place. The library system recently lost $35,000 in county funding, which was matching money, and therefore meant it also lost $35,000 in state funding.
Now, Thompson said, various fundraising efforts are being made to recoup those funds. Letters have recently been sent to major county businesses and industries, asking them to consider a $5,000 donation. Smaller businesses and individuals are being asked to make smaller donations or to hold their own fundraiser to benefit the library. She is hoping 4-H clubs, church groups and other clubs might take up donations of needed items like paper, toilet paper, office supplies and paper towels.
On July 25, St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Haven will hold a baked steak dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. Proceeds will go to the New Haven and Mason libraries to buy books. Thompson said the book budget dropped from $21,000 for all four libraries to $6,000, most of which will be used for the main location. The dinner will be $10 and will include steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, dessert and drink. It will be available for eat in, or carry out.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the library, or hold a fundraiser, can contact Thompson or any library location, including Hannan, Point Pleasant, Mason and New Haven.