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Library assessing damage caused by water leak

Library assessing damage caused by water leak

Update: The library will be closed for the third straight day, on Tuesday, to allow for more cleanup. The library is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday.

The Rochester Public Library is closed Monday due to a weekend water leak.

The library says a leak from a broken water softener was first detected Sunday morning. At one point, there were several inches of standing water in the central portion of all three floors, according to the library’s director.

While it was not immediately clear how much damage was caused to the facility itself, the library says only about three carts of books were affected by the leak. The library’s collection includes more than 440,000 items.

“We are fortunate that most of the leak affected staff areas and public areas that do not house collections,” said Library Director Audrey Betcher.

Over at the Friends of the Library bookstore, located adjacent to the library’s lobby, damage to materials is estimated at around $20,000.

The impact to the library was limited due to the quick response of the city’s public safety agencies, Betcher said. Staff from the Rochester Fire Department, Rochester Police Department, Rochester Parks and Recreation, along with a local restoration company, all assisted in the response.

While the library assesses the damage, it has parked its bookmobile outside on First Street Southeast. Until 5 p.m. on Monday, customers can borrow items and pick up holds using the bookmobile. The library’s book drop will remain open, but no materials will be due on Monday.

For ongoing updates on this story, visit www.rplmn.org.

Cover photo courtesy the Rochester Public Library

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