Where was I on Monday, February 18 at 3:00pm? I was in Buffalo enjoying the company of my brother and sister-in-law when I received the frantic phone call from a staff member. I could barely make out her words over the high-pitch alarm and what sounded like a heavy rain storm. My heart sank. I felt helpless. I jumped in my car and
returned to Canandaigua as quickly as possible fearing the worst.
When I arrived, the parking lot was full of fire trucks, work trucks, cars, debris and water. The damage was substantial. A sprinkler pipe had burst above the fiction collection on the main floor damaging 3700 books. The water had also found a way to the Children’s Library through light fixtures and other crevices. However, what impressed me the most was not the damage, but the team that came together.
Everyone scattered inside the building – firemen, electricians, plumbers, trustees, and staff – were hard at work doing whatever was needed to alleviate the situation. Water was squeegeed out the back, the burst pipe was repaired, power was restored, fans were set up, and soaked books were plucked off the shelves and boxed to be frozen. Everyone there that night went above and beyond the call of duty to help their library in its time of need. Wood Library was only closed for three days. In a few weeks, you will see books occupying the fiction shelves once again and any signs of a flood will be gone. What will last is the comfort in knowing that when the library was in trouble, people came ready to help.
A special thank you to the Canandaigua City Fire Department for responding so swiftly. Further damage was prevented because of your professionally trained team of firefighters and their quick actions. We are so fortunate to have a fire station of your caliber in our city.
- Jenny Goodemote, Director