ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Englewood Public Library is temporarily closing after methamphetamine contamination was detected.
The City of Englewood said Wednesday that the restrooms and other surfaces in the library were tested after the recent closure of the main library in Boulder, also due to meth contamination.
Test results showed the restrooms exceed state thresholds for meth contamination, and other library spaces tested positive for a lower level and require special cleaning.
The library's lobby and second-floor restrooms in the Civic Center will be closed until the contamination is resolved, the city said.
“The health and safety of our staff, residents and patrons is of the utmost importance to all of us at the City of Englewood,” City Manager Shawn Lewis said. “With this in mind, we decided to proactively conduct testing in our library and other Civic Center locations to ensure safety for all. The test results we received today are troubling, and we immediately began working to remediate affected spaces with the goal of reopening the library as soon as possible. We want to thank our valued library patrons for their patience as we work to ensure our library is safe for everyone."
Englewood only decided to test after they saw Boulder's results.
Michael Brannen, a spokesperson with the city of Aurora, said in an email, "although staff has not observed anyone doing meth in our locations nor has anyone come forward with symptoms, we are looking into options for drug residue testing at our libraries."
Jefferson County Public Library is also looking into the issue.
Harry Todd, a promotions and marketing manager, wrote in an email, "we have provided JCPH with information of recent incident reports and interactions in our libraries to obtain a recommendation of any safety measures needed, including whether testing is encouraged and, if so, to what extent."
Denver Public Library said they do not plan to test for meth residue.
"I’m just sad that this is happening," said Christina Underhill, Englewood's director of Parks, Recreation, Library, and Golf. "I never expected the libraries to go in this direction, and I know it’s not just Boulder and Englewood. This is going to be a national issue that’s going to have to be addressed. And so I’m excited in some respects that we’re leading the way and going to find solutions and make libraries over all a great place."
The City of Boulder began reopening the main library Jan. 4 after a temporary closure Dec. 20 due to environmental testing showing methamphetamine use in the bathrooms.
A contractor's report confirmed that the highest contamination levels were limited to public restrooms, along with some surface contamination in heavily-used seating areas. As part of the solution to correct the issue, affected furniture will be removed and the restrooms will be given a thorough cleaning. Public restrooms at the Boulder library won't be available until that work is completed.
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