Water valve repairs force Columbia Public Library to close

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COLUMBIA — The Columbia Public Library was closed Saturday morning while crews from Columbia's Public Works department replaced a water valve near the building.

To make the repairs, the city had to shut off the water supply to surrounding buildings, causing the library to close.

"We won't have any water, so we can't use the toilets or any drinking water, we wouldn't be able to have the coffee kiosk open," Columbia Public Library Associate Director Elinor Barrett said.

Library officials were notified of the repairs Thursday after the City of Columbia found elevated readings.

The closure forced the library to cancel two events, including a monthly genealogy program and a private meeting.

"If they needed to come in in the morning to pick up a book that's on hold, they would miss that opportunity, or it they needed to get in to, for example, use the public computers and they only had the morning available to them, they lose that opportunity as well," Barrett said.

She said they plan to reopen the library at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, but the work could delay that opening.

The water will not be safe to drink for the first 24 hours after the repairs are completed. The library will provide staff and guests with complimentary bottles of water.