The spectacular Fort Myers Beach Library has been closed since Ian came through nearly six months ago. The first floor sustained the most damage and was remediated pretty quickly after the storm.
According to Library Operations Manager Liz Rhodes the library is ready for insulation and drywall with flooring and shelving not too far behind. She says, that’s the simple stuff. “The elevator is still 5 months out. The contract has been awarded but the hard part is the waiting. Right now we’re working through what we lost, most of which is children’s materials.”
As far as when they can open, unfortunately it’s dependent on the elevator, which is 5-6 months out. Rhodes says they hope to start curbside services once Internet is restored and their systems are able to process returns from before the storm. That would start after the completion of the first floor repairs, with or without a working elevator.
Rhodes says the library had a permit pending but that seemed to have gone back a couple stages. “Once that’s in, the first floor repairs should move quickly and allow us to make the next step towards curbside services.”
The library is accepting donations every Wednesday from 9 to 2 at the library (2755 Estero). Donations of materials can also mailed to:
Fort Myers Beach Public Library
1217 East Cape Coral parkway
Cape Coral, FL 33904
Do you have a contact for the library? I am a teacher in Wisconsin purging my classroom materials and can donate many books. They are not in perfect condition and have markings or other labels on them, some sticker labels, some permanent marker labels. Wondering if they would be able to be donated as is? Or does the library prefer unused books? Thanks! 🙂
I had the pleasure of working at the library for four years and love the institution as do many of my fellow islanders. It’s great to hear that there is progress toward the restoration of our library services. Our library was often referred to by our late director, Dr. Leroy Hommerding, as the “jewel of the island” not just for it’s beauty but as a resource for islanders and visitors for checking out materials, technical services and learning opportunities for adults and children. We welcome it’s return as soon as possible.