Officials investigate mysterious odor at Poland library

By Ashley Luthern


The shelves at the Poland Library are stocked with tales of fictional detectives, but it’s questionable whether even those famed characters could solve the puzzle of the mysterious odor wafting in and around the library.

The Poland Library closed Friday and will remain closed through Monday while officials investigate the odor further.

The library is working with Columbus-based environmental consultants Lawhon & Associates Inc. to further evaluate the air- quality problem this week, said Janet Loew, library spokeswoman.

The partnership between the library and the environmental consultants was negotiated by the library’s law firm, and cost estimates were not available Tuesday afternoon.

“We believe the smell is not coming from the library, and at this point, we believe it’s from an outside source,” Loew said.

The library ordered groundwater tests and is awaiting results. The groundwater is not connected to water in the library, but it’s possible the facility’s sump pump could have pulled the smell into the building, Loew said.

“The sump pump and catch basin in the parking lot seem to be where the odor is the strongest,” she said.

Officials at the Western Reserve Joint Fire District said its equipment detected no gas.

Loew stressed this is a precautionary measure, and the library branch will reopen as soon as possible.

“We believe there’s no health risk, but we are trying to be proactive and precautionary because we realize we’re a public building with all demographics coming through the door,” she said.

All events scheduled at Poland Library are canceled during the time the library is closed.

The library is working with Kravitz Delicatessen and patrons who had booked the library’s meeting room to move those events to another location, Loew said.

The Friends of the Library Bookstore on the library’s lower level is also closed and has canceled its Black Friday book sale.

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