Flooded Library Reopens

A library in Luzerne County damaged by the September flooding is back in business.

The public library in West Pittston opened Monday where it was before the flood of 2011.

After months of hard work and thousands of dollars, the library is open once again. The doors were unlocked just before noon.

A welcome back sign written behind the front desk at the West Pittston Library says it all.

The people who do come back will see a clean and renovated building.

Library director Anne Bramblett Barr said the September flood actually gave them an opportunity to mold the library’s future.

“We got to really think about the core services that we provide here at the library,” Branblett Barr said.

Visitors will find more computers, more seating and more room for children’s activities.

In September part of West Pittston was covered by four feet of the Susquehanna River. The flooding was only 18 inches deep when Agnes hit in 1972.

The federal government chipped in $25,000, and the library’s director hopes for more government help in the recovery, plus there is insurance. A lot comes from friends they didn’t know they had.

“We received donations from Seattle, Washington, to Phoenix, Arizona, to Orlando, Florida, people who grew up in West Pittston, people who moved away and heard our story, and were writing checks and sending notes, saying they cried when they saw the pictures on Facebook and wanted to do whatever they could to help,” Bramblett Barr added.

In this place of learning and knowledge, the staff learned something triggered by the flood of 2011.

“We know the community really, really values us and loves this library, and they’ll continue to support us,” the library director said.

The library is open normal hours and there is a big grand opening celebration set for the afternoon of March 9.

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