Union Gap Library closing its doors - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Union Gap Library closing its doors

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UNION GAP, Wash.-- The director of Yakima Valley Libraries announced they will be closing their Union Gap Library next month.

The library's been at it's location on Ahtanum Road for 60 years and people say the closure will make things tough for a lot of folks in Union Gap.

"I was very unhappy," said Doris Skeie, a frequent library user.

She says she visits the Union Gap Library pretty often. It's a place where she can open a good book, use a computer, or just get out of the house. But beginning December 14th, she'll have to find another spot to hang out.

"There's no excuse for it. It should have been arranged long ago to have a new library," Skeie said.

The City of Union Gap contracts its library service to Yakima Valley Libraries, an organization which runs 18 public facilities across the valley.

Director Kim Hixson says the city decided not to renew it's contract with YVL for next year because of the ongoing mold issue that's forcing Union Gap to demolish city hall, which also houses the library.

"We were very concerned about the loss. If they didn't contract or the city wasn't annexed, then the people would not be able to access the library service," Hixson said.

Hixson says the city is paying almost $20,000 a year to YVL so people in Union Gap can still use any other Yakima Valley Library for free.     

But many people, including Doris Skeie, are concerned the closure will make it too tough for others to visit a library.

"I see mothers with strollers, I see children with bicycles, scooters. There's always young people in the library," Skeie said.

Hixson says the two employees at the Union Gap Library will be transferred, so no one will be let go.

Beginning December 1st, the library will be open Monday-Friday, from 10am-5pm. The last day of business will be Friday, December 14th.

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