EDITOR’S NOTE: Phoenix Public Library is adding Sunday hours effective Sept. 10 to the following locations, which will now be open 1-5 p.m. on Sundays: Century Library, 1750 E. Highland Ave., and Yucca Library, 5648 N. 15th Ave.

Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher last month announced that the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., would remain closed until June 2018 due to damaged caused by a storm on July 15.

Strong winds lifted up several roof panels during the storm, and when they came crashing back down, the impact burst some aging and partially rusted emergency sprinkler pipes in the ceiling. The resulting flood caused excessive damage to the northwest quadrant of the fifth floor, and more minor damage to the floors below as the water filtered down.

About 6,000 of the library’s 500,000-plus book collection was lost, but none of the rare or collectible books were damaged, according to library officials. In fact, most of the ruined books were in the library’s reference section, such as encyclopedias and atlases.

But the most damage was caused to the walls and floors, including carpeting and wood.

“Our residents count on this public facility to be available to them as an asset to living in Phoenix,” Zuercher said. “Reopening the library is our top priority, and we are committed to restoring service to the building.”

Phoenix library officials are now working with the system’s 16 branch locations to try to distribute some of the services and programs that were scheduled at Burton Barr in the next several months. More information on those programs can be found at www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org under the Calendar link.



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