Main Branch library closed for most of Wednesday due to sewage leak.

A sewage backup on the first floor of the main library in downtown Evanston forced the shutdown of the building from around 11 a.m. Wednesday through the rest of the day.

The plumbing-related closing is noted with a sign in front, and a message on the library’s website.

Jill Skwerski, the library’s engagement services manager, tells Evanston Now that sewage was found in “multiple bathrooms,” and there was a “distinct odor.”

Library and City of Evanston crews have been working on the main sewer line into the building, to determine the source of the backup.

Skwerski says some carpet is wet and also smells, so cleanup will be needed.

The library had been scheduled to close at 8 p.m. The library branch at the Robert Crown Center is still open until 8.

Skwerski says the goal is to reopen the downtown library on Thursday morning.

Update 6:55 p.m.: The library has now announced that repairs to the collapsed sewer line will take longer than originally anticipated and the library will remain closed through Friday.

Traffic on Church Street in front of the library may be reduced to a single lane, and the sidewalk may be closed as the repairs continue.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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