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The Library Trustees were notified of the damage on Wednesday.

Thieves Tamper With North Adams Library Gutter System

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — After a structural inspection of the library, the city found that someone has attempted to steal the copper gutter system.
 
"Someone has been working on stealing our copper drainage over on the East Main Street side," Library Director Mindy Hackner said at Wednesday's trustee's meeting. "I noticed damage to the porch railing and it looks like someone has worked things loose but now the city knows about it."
 
Although no copper was actually stolen, rivets were missing and it appeared as though someone was preparing to tear away the drainage.
 
Acting Chairman Rich Remsberg asked if anything was being done to make sure no one comes to finish the job.
 
"Will there be an increased police presence? Will the rivets be replaced?" he said. "I'd hate to start losing copper."
 
Hackner said both the building inspector and the city are aware and she presumes the police will be notified.
 
The library isn't the first historic building to be eyed by copper thieves; last year, thieves ripped the drainage and pipes off Notre Dame Church. This lead to severe damage to the building's brick exterior. 
 
Besides finding the copper, Hackner said Champlain Masonry assessed the inside and outside of the library and reaffirmed much of the structural damage the trustees thought existed.   
 
"They are concerned about the same things that concern us but they also noted around the windows where the windows and the brick are pulling away from one another," Hackner said. "They pointed all of that out to the building inspector."   
 
The city made a commitment to inspect the building and make repairs possibly through the help of a Massachusetts Historical Commission grant, however, Hackner said the city missed the deadline.  
 
"They did not meet the deadline but they are getting everything in line for next year," she said. 
 
In other business, the trustees discussed their strategic planning process and felt they could bring more people into the library if they extend their hours to accommodate more programming.  
 
Hackner suggested extending evening hours, perhaps on Saturdays. 
 
"One of the main complaints I hear from people in the community that work during the day is that they just can't get here in time so that may be good," Remsberg said. 
 
Hackner noted that this would require more staffing.
 
She added that the fiscal 2018 budget looks solid and the library may actually meet the municipal minimum. This is the minimum the state says a community must spend on its library. For the past few years, the library has applied for a waiver. 
 
"For the past few years, we have been creeping up and the requirement has been creeping down so I think we are in range," she said. 

Tags: historic buildings,   NAPL,   

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