Eckhart Public Library opens temporary branch three months after - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Eckhart Public Library opens temporary branch three months after fire

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Photo//Eckhart Public Library Photo//Eckhart Public Library
AUBURN, Ind. (WPTA21) -

Three months after an arson shut down its historic main library, Eckhart Public Library opened a new temporary location.

ABC21 previously reported the fire took place on the 1996 expansion side of the historic main library building causing extensive damage. The fire left charred books, acidic soot, and water damage behind. An investigation determined a consumer firework started the blaze when it was lit and placed in the book and video return drop chute located near the main entrance.

READ MORE: Fire chief determines fire at Auburn library intentionally set

Three months after the fire, the library is able to expand operations after moving into the former Legacy Hallmark location at Auburn Plaza. Library officials say they expect to stay at that location while repairs are done on the primary facility.

“Eckhart Public Library will remain strong and carry on, regardless of space or circumstance, to serve our community’s evolving needs as we move forward to enter a new chapter of service,” library officials said in its weekly newsletter.

The temporary location is located at 1029 W. 7th St. near Kroger. Its hours are Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Library representatives said the temporary location had about 20 visitors in the first 15 minutes of it being open. Since then, they have had people coming in pretty steadily. The representative said visitors have been receptive to the location.

"Even though it's not the historic Main Library building that they know and love, people are loving their 'home away from home.'" The representative said.

The library thanked other area libraries for their help loaning them shelving and furniture so they could open the temporary location.

We are so grateful to Adams Public Library System ,Huntington City-Township Public Library, Kendallville Public Library, LaGrange County Public Library, and DeKalb County Central United Schools for loaning us shelving and furniture to get our temporary Auburn Plaza Location ready to open! We want to thank all of the libraries that have and continue to offer their support to us during our recovery process. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful library friends!

 An Auburn man is in custody in connection with the fire. ABC21 previously reported Nykolas Elkin, 24 was arrested in connection to the fire. Elkin was arrested after evidence along with other tips from the public helped police identify him as a suspect. Elkin pleaded guilty to arson on September 18. A hearing is scheduled on October 19 for the guilty plea and his sentencing. 

READ MORE: Auburn man arrested in connection with library fire

If you are wondering how you can help the library, visit eckhartstrong.org for more information.

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