Well, it's official: the library will be closed January 2-5 for asbestos abatement. Pre-remodel testing found asbestos-containing material under the carpet in several areas around the library.
Here are some FAQs about the upcoming abatement process:
What kind of asbestos is in the library?
The asbestos is in the mastic (glue) left over from floor tiles removed during the 1992 building remodel. At that time the mastic was covered over but not removed. This floor tile asbestos is a “non-friable” type meaning it is not airborne and is not dangerous unless disturbed. Removing the carpet will disturb this mastic, so the carpet and mastic must be removed by a licensed asbestos abatement company. Mavo Systems of Duluth will be the company removing the carpet and they will come six times, one time for each construction phase that needs carpet removal.
Is it safe to be in the library right now, before and during construction?
The safety of library staff and patrons is of the utmost importance. The asbestos in our library has not been airborne and it is safe to be in the library. Asbestos only presents a health risk when fibers become airborne and are inhaled. The mere presence of ACM may not represent a health risk.
Is it safe to be in the library during the abatement process?
The abatement process that is used to dispose of non-friable asbestos does not need to be done in a contained area. It is safe to be in the building during the entire process. However, the solvent used in the process does have a distinct odor that is strong when first applied. Mavo Systems workers wear masks and eye protection at the application area.
Will the abatement areas be contained?
For non-friable asbestos, the area does not need to be contained. Plastic sheeting may be hung to help keep the area around the project clean, but is not needed as a barrier. Exhaust air units or fans may also be present to help with odor control. These units are not “cleaning” the air because the project involves non-friable ACM that does not easily release asbestos fibers.
How does the abatement work?
For non-friable ACM, the licensed asbestos abatement company lays a solvent on the floor as they remove the old carpet. The solvent congeals and sawdust is laid down to collect the ACM. The contained asbestos fibers are removed along with the solvent and sawdust. The material is taken away and disposed of in the methods required by law. Asbestos fibers are not able to become airborne during this process.
When will the library reopen?
The library will be closed December 30-January 1 for New Year's and January 2-5 for the abatement. We will reopen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 6.
What if I have materials checked out that are due while the library is closed?
All due dates have been adjusted so that items will be due back to the library once we reopen. Items are never due when the library is scheduled to be closed.
Will library staff be on vacation during the remodel? Are they getting paid even when the library is closed?
Library staff will still be working during the abatement. If the smell isn't too terrible, staff will report to the library. Arrangements have also been made for staff to work at the Government Center. If a staff member wants to use vacation days during the closure, they have that option as well.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
Asbestos questions can be directed to SPL Director Sue Heskin, 715-394-8876 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Superior Public Library has proudly served the residents of Douglas County, Wisconsin since 1888. After 25 years in our current location with no major upgrades, it's time for some improvements! Follow along with our six-month remodeling project, scheduled to be completed in May 2018.