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Library flooded by broken sprinkler pipe

Library flooded by broken sprinkler pipe

Auckland Central Library re-opened for business on Wednesday after a flood on early Saturday morning caused water damage to about 20,000 books and music scores.

A sprinkler pipe was damaged by a forklift being used in the project to replace the escalators. A sprinkler pipe was penetrated, causing pressurised water to be released into the basements where many low use items are stored.

The incident is being investigated, at this initial stage, by insurance assessors working on behalf of Council, and the main contractor, Schindler Lifts. Due to the nature of the damage, an assessment of losses is expected to take some time.

During the closure, the damaged items removed from the basements were being dried by staff using fans and dehumidifiers.

While the majority of the damaged books are now dry, the next stage is further assessment to determine the conservation process for each item. Libraries heritage manager Theresa Graham says staff from the National Preservation office of the National Library in Wellington and conservators from Auckland Art Gallery are helping with advice on how the more severely damaged books and music scores might be saved.

It is business as usual now at the library with 99 per cent of items still available for loan. Where items are affected by the flood, there is a note on the catalogue indicating water damage and staff will advise people of when the item will be available for loan.

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