February 17, 2018

Mercury Spill Clean Up Absorbs Muncie Library’s Budget

By LJ Staff

The discovery of mercury on keyboards of public computers at the Kennedy branch of the Muncie Public Library, IN, has kept the facility closed since September 18. Adding insult to injury, the library reports that the facility’s insurance does not cover its $100,000 share of the clean-up costs, which will have to be taken from the operating budget, essentially decimating it. “We’ve stopped buying books, put a freeze on hiring, all the things you’d expect,” a frustrated Director Virginia Niles told the press. The building is expected to remain closed until early December. Half of the clean-up cost is being absorbed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The library’s collection and furniture are in temporary storage in trailers after being cleaned. All the carpeting from the building was stripped from floors and destroyed as hazardous waste. Officials believe that a broken fluorescent light could have been the source of the mercury, which was discovered on two separate occasions.