Posted at: 04/08/2014 7:26 AM
Updated at: 04/08/2014 7:43 AM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Some would say a library is the heart of the community.
It may be the wide range of books or the quiet atmosphere that used to attract 300 people to the North Valley Library every day. But since July of last year, the library hasn't seen any action because of a fire that damaged a big chunk of the building.
It was a huge loss that started in the children's book section but the smoke spread throughout the entire building.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 got a first look at the library on Monday after its nine-month makeover – fresh white paint, brand new carpet, new LED lights and a new security system. As for the books, Dean Smith with the library said nearly all of the 50,000 had to be replaced.
"That's 50,000 things that have to be picked, boxed, opened, put back on the shelf," Smith said.
Between replacing the books and fixing the damage, the total was about a million dollars – money paid for with insurance money from the city and county.
Smith said the community outpour of concern has been tremendous.
"People come to learn—Young people, old people, working age," he said.
Residents have been calling the library to ask when they're going to reopen. Smith said that's a sign people still love their libraries.
He said the library will officially open to the public sometime in April. A soft opening is planned for next Tuesday.