Shelby Township Library staff working to maintain services despite water damage – Macomb Daily


The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped the Shelby Township Library from serving the community, nor has water damage caused by a mechanical failure on Christmas Eve. While crews work on repairs and large fans and dehumidifiers dry things out, Shelby Township Library staff will instead use their lessons learned from the pandemic to serve their customers.

Beginning January 9, staff will begin curbside pickup and transition to policies similar to the library’s pandemic response to maintain as many services as possible while the facility is closed.

“As we have done during COVID, we will allow people to pick up books and other library materials, obtain library cards and assist with other services through a drive-up curbside model,” said Katie Ester, director of the library. “It’s a strain on staff during winter weather, but it’s the only way library services can be offered at this time. We’ve done it before. we can do it again January isn’t ideal, but neither was the 100 degree weather in a tent in our parking lot in 2020. We are grateful for the small graces in this situation. Luckily that was clean water, not sewage or gray water.”

While the damage was greatest in areas such as staff offices, the technology lab, and small user meeting rooms, no items in the library’s collections were damaged. Because of this, Ester and the library staff can focus on serving customers and working with the rehabilitation teams at BELFOR Property Restoration and the community’s insurance agent, Nickel & Saph Inc. Insurance Agency, and its insurance carrier, Travelers Insurance, to maintain the facility to reopen as soon as possible.

“No book, audio book, DVD, Blu-ray, magazine, newspaper or other library material was damaged,” Ester said. “It’s absurdly unusual and we’re grateful for that. Travelers Insurance was also very pleased that we were working with BELFOR. You have a long-standing relationship with BELFOR and trust their work. I believe this will make the claims process smoother.”

Under the community’s active insurance policy, all library property and contents are fully insured against water damage resulting from the mechanical failure on Christmas Eve. For this reason, there is no financial burden for the taxpayer beyond the deductible.

“As with everything in Shelby Township, we built the library with a commitment to protecting our taxpayers,” said Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis. “I’m glad we have adequate insurance and coverage for the library’s property and content.

Stathakis added he was proud of the immediate response from the fire department, police, maintenance crews and library staff.

“Our team jumped into action on Christmas Eve when they should have been spending the holiday with family and friends. Because of their dedication, we have stopped the bleeding and started the process of reopening our beautiful library as soon as possible,” he said.

In addition to rehabilitating the building, the library is working with the Suburban Library Cooperative and other partners to assess and repair damage to equipment and furnishings.

“BELFOR has been on site since Christmas Eve and the cleanup started on Monday the 26th with hundreds of fans and huge dehumidifiers,” Ester said. “BELFOR started cataloging the damage and had 3D images of the entire building taken with a mapping device. BELFOR also had furniture restoration, technical renovation and electricians on site in the week of May 26th.

“We evaluate all damage to see what we need to replace in terms of furniture, technology lab components, chairs, side panels and more,” added Ester. “Working with our Suburban Library Cooperative, we plan to replace all of the technology lab’s computers and components, including 19 desktop computers, 10 laptops, a printer and printing station, a scanner, and two large screens.”

The Insurance Claims Adjuster is currently investigating the cause and fault of the mechanical failure. The community can then provide more information about the nature of the outage and a timeline for when the library will reopen.

“Since the opening of our new library last July, it has been a pleasure to see the community fall in love with this space,” said Ester. “We aim to get our guests back here as soon as possible and we will make sure it’s the same amazing place they’ve come to love when they come back.”


Curbside service is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 6:30pm and Friday and Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Customers can call 586-739-7414 to arrange a pickup. In addition, library staff are available for assistance by phone at 586-739-7414 or email at While the library is closed, all digital services are available at Users can return media to the library’s 24-hour return box on the east exterior wall.

The Shelby Township Library is located at 52610 Van Dyke Ave. For more information, contact