Kennewick Library closed indefinitely, citing A/C issues, as weather heats up

KENNEWICK, Wash. — As the mercury rises outside, places like the Kennewick Library, tend to be a place to cool off.

“We came here the day after we moved in to get our library cards right away,” Aaron Edwards said.

That is, if the building is cool to begin with.

“We were definitely disappointed,” Edwards said.

Edwards and his family are dedicated library visitors.

“I bring my kids here all the time; they’ve got backpacks just for their library books,” he said.

But they are defeated to learn you can only go inside to pick up books and DVDS, without looking around the library in person.

“Trying to find books and DVDs when you’re just browsing the online catalog is difficult,” Edwards added.

“It’s still operational but it’s struggling and so, there’s been some small fixes to kind of keep it going,” Evelyn Lusignan with the City of Kennewick said.

Lusignan discussed the city’s HVAC system.

While the city owns the building, Mid-Columbia Libraries operates it.

They’ve closed to visitors after the building wasn’t staying cool enough, offering pick up as the issue is addressed.

“We haven’t had the heat yet, but it’s coming; the city is looking at some interim solutions while this HVAC system is being designed because it won’t be in place until next spring, before next summer,” she said.

The city has ordered tinting for the windows, and fans to keep air moving, but no one is immune to supply chain issues.

“The motors for those fans are on back order too so everything has been delayed but we’re working really hard to make it as comfortable as possible,” Evelyn said.

That’s why it could be some time before a new HVAC system is delivered and installed.

Edwards said he and his children are just waiting for the day they can browse the shelves once again.

“‘Cause not everyone can afford to pay for Disney Plus and they got all those movies in there. It’s a program that’s important to us and it’s an important resource especially to our community. Definitely looking forward to when they open up again,” he said.

In the mean time, Mid-Columbia Libraries and the City of Kennewick are trying to work out a temporary solution that would meet their criteria to reopen to the public. You can reserve materials online by visiting their website and picking up in person.

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