Boundary County Library going into dry dock, Ashworth says

Sandy Ashworth

“This isn’t what we want, but it’s necessary,” said Sandy Ashworth, 80, retired until being brought back March 24 as a consultant at the Boundary County Library she helped bring to national prominence over the course of her long and storied career. “We’re going into dry dock.”

The purpose, she said, is to address safety issues not acceptable in a public building; safety issues resulting from clutter that’s built up in a library that has seen expanded programs over the years but no expansion of space, security issues that leave the facility vulnerable, a cyber-security overhaul to protect the library’s computers and network.

“We call it ‘Operation Reset the Library,'” she said, “and we’re doing a two-week push to get everything done. While we’ll do our best to finish, it might be that we’ll have a few things left to do, which might mean shortened hours or limited days for a little while. But once done, things will be far more safe and secure for our guests and staff.”

Some of the issues have been years in the making, but all, Sandy said, have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with reduced staff and fluctuating hours making it difficult to keep on top of things.

She, interim director Derrick Grow, contractors and volunteers will be doing the work during the two week emergency closure declared by the library board this morning, set to begin Friday, April 16, while staff who had been scheduled to work will be given time off with pay.