Local library needs funding to stay open

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Reporter: Mychaela Bruner
Photographer: Justin Jones

BROOKPORT, IL—It has been two months since the EF 3 tornado ripped through a local community.  The Brookport, IL library sustained significant damages from the tornado and ice storm, but still opened it's doors for FEMA to assist tornado survivors.

Now it is the library that needs help and volunteers are in dire straits to keep the lights on.  Two months have passed since the EF 3 tornado hit Brookport, the visible scars still remain.

People like former Mayor Judy Askew have not forgotten the damage it left behind.

"We lost all of the windows on the building, the building was pierced in three places with debris, following that we had the snow and ice dams," said Askew.

The Brookport Library is still standing only yards away from some of the destruction. However, this time it is not a tornado threatening to close the library's doors  - it is funding.

"I'm going to be very frank about this because this is the lifeblood of this community. We need $600 a month to keep us functioning for lights, gas and fees for computers," said Askew.

Askew said by June 1st-- the library will run out of funding.  The worst case scenario...

"We close. The building just sits here," said Askew.

Askew said the library is in a desperate financial situation and November's tornado did not help.

"We have students that come and do reports and they will be sitting all over the library," said Askew.

For now, she is holding out hope the doors can stay open, by people opening their hearts to save this local landmark.

The Brookport library will be completely out of funding by June 1st, forcing them to close down.  If you would like to donate, send monetary donations to the Brookport Library, P.O. Box 308 Brookport, IL 62910.

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