New Castle Library gets grant to preserve local history collection |

New Castle Library gets grant to preserve local history collection

NEW CASTLE ” Jaci Spuhler is excited about her new specialized HEPA vacuum cleaner.

“We use it to vacuum our books,” said Spuhler, Garfield County Public Library System director. “It’s how we can clean materials without doing damage to them.”

Spuhler said the HEPA vacuum, which stands for high efficiency particulate air, is going to come in handy when the library staff starts organizing and preserving the New Castle local history collection. It’s a substantial project she plans to begin soon, now that she’s received a grant to help her with costs.

History, clean and organized

Spuhler announced on Wednesday that the library system received a grant for nearly $4,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to purchase proper shelving to house the history collection.

Currently, the library system’s historical materials are in the New Castle Library’s basement on wooden shelves. With the grant money, Spuhler will purchase new shelves made of baked enamel steel.

“Wood collects dust and can give off gases that can damage both leather and paper,” said Spuhler. “The new steel shelving doesn’t hold dust well and will help us preserve historical documents of the Western Slope of Colorado.”

Spuhler said the grant will aid in making materials such as out-of-print books, scrapbooks, photographs and maps available to the public.

Spuhler said currently, these historical materials aren’t organized. But with the new shelving, she and her staff will know “what we have, where it is, and how to find it.”

The historical collection project will likely take about 18 months to complete, Spuhler said.

When it’s done, people will be able to make appointments to visit the collection in the New Castle Library basement.

Spuhler said that all those going through the collection will need to wear special gloves that protect the historical materials from harm.

“This project is really close to my heart,” added Spuhler, who just completed a preservation management certificate from Rutgers University in September 2003.

Parachute, making progress

Library staff are also enthused about progress on Parachute’s library addition project.

Chuck Brenner of C.F. Brenner Architecture Inc. in Glenwood Springs is the architect on the project.

“Nine contractors indicated interest in bidding and we received seven bids,” he said Wednesday. The bidding process closed Tuesday.

Brenner said all the bids but one came in below the project budget, which is $380,000 for the 2,000-square-foot addition.

Two of those bids were much lower than the budget, coming in at the $260,000 to $270,000 range, another bid came in at $310,000, three were at $340,000 and the last bid was at $380,000.

“I think that because of the economy, we’re getting some really good, competitive bids,” Brenner said.

Both he and Spuhler said a decision on the winning bid will take a few weeks. The library system is also waiting on the outcome of a Department of Local Affairs grant worth $200,000 which should be decided on in early April before the project proceeds.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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