If you doubt the importance of air conditioning in West Texas, just drop by the Howard County Library some afternoon.
The library's air conditioning unit, which operated in fits and starts most of this spring, finally gave up the ghost for good recently, leaving the building a tad on the hot side.
Well, more than a tad, it turns out.
âIt's been getting up to 83 or 84 most afternoons, and it'll only get hotter,â County Library Hollis McCright said. âIt's gotten so warm that we've not had much business in the afternoon, and after 4 p.m., we're not getting anyone at all.â
Bowing to the inevitable, McCright said the library will have to reduce its hours of operation until a replacement air conditioning unit is installed.
Effective Monday, the library will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and will close on Saturdays.
âThe library will be changing its hours, quite simply because we can't exist in a building that's 90 degrees,â McCright said.
Bids for a new cooler are expected to be opened by county commissioners May 12, and McCright is hopeful the new unit will be installed an operational by late June.
Once that happens, normal summer operating hours will go back into effect, she said.
âThis is just temporary,â she said of the new schedule. âWe'll go back to our usual 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. business when the air conditioning is fixed.â