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The library trustees also heard an estimate for getting hot water to the upper floors.

Adams Library Will Seek Buyers for Antique Periodicals

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The library has hundreds of bound volumes of journals and magazines, including the Journal of American History and The Outlook, which was last published in 1935.

ADAMS, Mass. — The Free Library has a basement full of antique bound periodical books that need a new home.

Library Director Deborah Bruneau asked the trustees on Thursday for permission to see if the books can be sold and to investigate a proper book seller.

Many of the bound books go back to the 1800s, and Bruneau would like to see if it is viable to sell them to make room in the basement before the proposed renovation starts.

"Some of them are in pretty good shape and others not so much," she said.

The basement needs to be cleaned out to create new storage space and also make room for an emergency exit that must be included in the renovations.

"I did a rough count and on one bookcase down in the basement, there are 700 different volumes," Bruneau said. "They could be of worth something."

Bruneau said the condition of the books vary and many of the older magazines have completely deteriorated.

"They are turning into dust," she said. "I don't think there is any value or worth to the loose-bound magazines."

Bruneau added that the conditions of the basement are less than manageable, and the books would take a long time to organize. In the past, there was a boiler malfunction in the cellar and the books were completely put out of order in the cleaning process.

"I have no complete run on any of the books down there," Bruneau said. "I really would like to talk to someone before I even decide whether it's worth trying to organize."

Along with clearing out the basement for proposed renovation, the board met with an electrician to go over an estimate for installing an electric hot water heater that would provide hot water to the upper level of the library. The estimate was only informational.

Electrician David Krzeminski estimated the cost at $4,500. This includes installing the proper subpanel and wiring to supply the needed power to heat the water.

The new electrical work will not be a replacement for what is in the upper levels of the library now. The library has knob and tube wiring, which is an obsolete method of electrical wiring.

Krzeminski believes replacing this older system will only cause issues.

"If it's not giving you trouble, don't touch it," he said. "If you do, you are going to have to rip open the ceiling and the walls, and if you want to keep the building historically accurate you are going to have issues."

The top floor contains one of the few original Grand Army of Republic Halls left in the state.

Krzeminski added that the replacement procedure is also expensive. Replacing old wiring in a home can cost between $10,000 and $20,000.

Tags: antiques,   books, magazines,   periodicals,   public library,   

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