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A follow-up on the water damage in the Library

posted by Donna Stewart on 2023-01-13T16:10:00-05:00 | 0 Comments


We're grateful to everyone in the campus community who has reached out to us after we suffered extensive and far-reaching water damage on four floors of the library over the winter break.  We are particularly grateful for the extraordinary efforts of our colleagues in FAST, who came downtown during the winter break and worked 24/7 to make repairs, put in place and monitor dehumidifiers, and replace fallen ceiling tiles and soaked carpeting.  Thanks to these heroic actions, we were able to reopen our first floor in time for the start of the semester.

All floors are now reopened, including our 2nd floor quiet study carrels!  Thanks for your patience as we worked to clean and restore them. 

Our previous blog post about this is here:, and we wanted to give you an update for the beginning of Spring Semester.

We are resuming our normal spring semester hours on Saturday, January 14th.water-damaged books
  • Floors 1, 3, and 4 will reopen.

  • The 2nd floor will be closed, except for the Math Emporium and staff offices.

  • If you're looking for a book on the 2nd floor, ask at User Services or make an online request.

  • 15 quiet study carrels on the 3rd floor are available for check-out from the Digital Design Studio desk.

  • All classes and events scheduled for the 1st floor LCLC will occur as scheduled.

  • Group study rooms on floors 1, 3, and 4 are all available.

  • Questions?  Call (216) 687-2479 - or ask your personal librarian.

We estimate that over 90,000 books on the second floor have been affected, and all of our 2nd floor silent study carrels will remain inaccessible until they can be thoroughly dried out, sanitized, and checked for safety.  Our second floor is one of the only quiet zones on campus, and we realize that losing access to this vital study space, even temporarily, is going to be a real hardship for our students, and we hope to provide this access again as soon as possible.  

Our very small staff is continuing to work to assess and mitigate the damage, evaluate and isolate soaked print materials, replace public computers, and try to restore order.


On Tuesday December 27th, a hot water pipe supplying hot water heat broke on the 4th floor, impacting our Special Collections below. We are still assessing the damage, but from what we can tell so far, and considering the magnitude of these collections, the portion affected is small, and the more valuable and irreplaceable collections (e.g. Cleveland Press print materials) are not affected. 

Early Wednesday December 28th, a second water pipe that is part of the steam heat burst in a carrel on the north side of the 3rd floor.  This was much worse, causing the most damage to the 2nd floor. The water also made its way to the 1st floor, affecting the library entrance and moving north beyond the User Services desk and traveling 3 -4 feet to the east and west. 

Provost Sridhar was on site the next day for a tour of the damage, and FAST worked 24/7 from the time the first pipe broke all the way through what was to have been their holiday break. Environmental Services has determined that there are no hazards. An outside mold remediation company is scheduled to come in to tend to the second floor, but because of the severity of the Christmas weekend storm they've been inundated with emergency calls and it will be some weeks before they can begin.


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