Cuba Library front exterior

UPDATE September 21, 2021:

Additional progress has been made in the basement level with repairs to the community room and the children’s storytime room. Last week, the contractor replaced the remainder of the drywall in the community room and began the finish work. In the children’s room, they have been painting, and soon enough the new flooring can be installed.

Repairs to our elevator are also still in progress. Replacement of the door on the upper level is finished, but we are still waiting on installation of the remainder of the lift and there is finish work to be done as well.

UPDATE September 9, 2021:

Progress has been made in the basement level with repairs to the community room and the children’s storytime room. On Monday, August 30, the construction company Waterproofing Specialties jackhammered a trench into the floor of the community room to improve the waterproofing by installing a WaterGuard, and two sump pumps were installed in the community room as well. This week, the contractor began replacing the studs and the drywall. In the children’s room, the drywall has been replaced, and painting will begin soon.

Repairs to our elevator are also in progress. The doors on the entry level and the basement level have been replaced, and the platform for the lift has been installed. Replacement of the door on the upper level is in progress this week, but the remainder of the lift will still need to be installed and there is finish work to be done as well.

UPDATE August 9, 2021:

The Cuba Library wishes to express a sincere thank you to all who have donated to our flood recovery fund. Thank you for your tremendous outpouring of support to the library. It is truly heartwarming to experience such a level of support from the community during this challenging time. So far, we have received $17,130.00 in donations. Thank you!!

We are happy to report that our insurance company did send us a check for $25,000. This is due to a clause in our policy which covered sump pump failure. Together with the donations, this brings our flood recovery fund up to $42,130.00.

We do not have a firm total for the recovery costs yet, but our best estimate is approximately $50,000. This includes tearing out damaged carpeting and dry wall, installing a waterproofing system, and installing new flooring and walls. Thanks to community kindness and generosity, we are very close to meeting our needs for recovery. Thank you again for your support.

UPDATE July 26, 2021:

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful donations! Just a quick update–the carpets were removed this weekend. Dry wall comes next! The contractor estimate came in at $22,000, so every donation really helps!! Thank you.

Cuba Library Flooded
Cuba Circulating Library sustained heavy damage from flooding of its lower floor caused by last weekend’s severe thunderstorms that swept across the Southern Tier.

While the damage to carpeting, walls and contents is significant, it could have been much worse had Library Director Tina Dalton not just happened to drop by the library at about 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.

“I opened the door to the ground floor level of the library and the water was everywhere,” said Dalton. “The community room carpet was completely underwater.”

Volunteers from the Cuba Fire Department responded to Dalton’s call for assistance and found that the library’s sump pump was not working. They got the pump working again and the water started receding in the older west side of the building, which houses a boiler room, the children’s story-time room and the book sale room, said Dalton.

But water continued to stream in at the base of walls in the library’s newer wing, flooding the community room, a small kitchen and restrooms with several inches of water.

“Although the damage sustained is bad, it could have been so much worse. I’m thankful for our firefighters and several volunteers who came at a moment’s notice to help move furniture and books out of harm’s way,” said Dalton.

“We lost many boxes of books that had been donated for the library’s used-book sale, as well as brand new children’s books that were to be used for prizes in our summer reading program,” she added. “We will also need to replace carpeting and drywall in both the story-time and community rooms.”

Dalton estimates that about 800 books had to be thrown away.

The library’s ground floor is blocked off, but the first floor will remain open to the public as much as possible while work is undertaken to repair the damage downstairs. For those who wish to avoid the library while cleanup and repair work is taking place, Dalton encourages people to take advantage of the library’s e-book collection through the Libby app. People may also arrange for curbside pickup of print items by calling the library at 585-968-1668.

The cost of replacing flooring and drywall is not yet known, but will be significant, and the library does not have flood insurance, said Dalton.


Those who wish to contribute to the library’s flood recovery fund may send a check to the library’s Flood Recovery Fund at Cuba Circulating Library, 39 E Main St., Cuba, N.Y. 14727. If you would prefer, you may also make your donation through PayPal. Donations of books cannot be accepted at this time.

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