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Additional information will be available in subsequent updates.

Update on flood damage and recovery to Green, Meyer, Braun and Cubberley Libraries

Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources -- Of the tens of thousands of sodden books taken out of the Green and Meyer Libraries' lower levels in the early hours of February 3 for freezing and subsequent treatment, about 4,000 were in a sorting room awaiting reshelving. These books could have been destined for any location in Green. As there was no time to identify exactly which of the sorting-room books went to the freezer and rehabilitation processes, we do not have any idea which of them have gone away. Books in the sorting room are very likely to have been books in active circulation, based on the principle that such a book is likely to be needed by successive readers. All of the other books removed were from the lowest shelves in the basement stack areas; we are attempting to derive identification numbers for those books so we can tell readers whether books they desire are available or not. I beg the patience of Stanford faculty and students during the next four to six months as we start a phased reshelving of books that have withstood the rehabilitation processes. Books that are irretrievably damaged will be re-ordered, even in the cases of books long out of print and from distant cultures. We do not have an estimate of the number of irretrievably damaged books, but presume it to be much less than 50% of the volumes removed. Naturally, the process of finding and acquiring books that were so damaged will take some years. So, more patience is requested.

During the entire recovery period, Inter-library Lending staff (5-1278; e-mail address will assist in obtaining materials from other libraries around the continent.

One piece of relatively good news is that very little of the collections was damaged in the Braun Music Library or in Cubberley.

The recovery of the facilities is proceeding very swiftly. In the case of Green Library, I have some hope that we may be able to allow readers back into the lower level in May. Until that time, we will page books as necessary. We are working on a scheme to make the current periodicals and microforms service available sooner than May; I will report to you on that prospect when the scheming produces useful results. In the case of Braun Music Library, I have some hope that we may allow readers back into the lower level stack area in a matter of weeks. In the case of Meyer, we expect to allow readers into the Government Documents area within weeks as well. As the areas flooded in Cubberley involved a basement library storage room, paging from that room will continue as in the past. Cubberley Education Library itself is back to normal operations.

More details follow below.

Daily schedules for paging books from the areas affected by the flooding have been established in each library. Consult the SUL/AIR website ( or library service desks for details. As the contractors reduce the scope of their work in each building, we will expand the on-demand paging services. Paging will continue until we bring the affected areas of each library into service and allow readers to enter those spaces.

Green Library

A new transformer is expected very soon; the building should be on the campus power grid and off the temporary generator early next week. If at all possible, the switch-over and the consequent loss of power in the building will be accomplished over the weekend. Staff and other occupants of Green are advised to turn off their work-stations and other devices ordinarily left on when they leave the building Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

The contractors working on the walls will be in the lower level for another two months; it is unlikely that we will allow readers or occupants of assigned studies into the lower level until the walls are fully repaired and painted.

Once the contractors have departed, there will be a thorough cleaning of the books and shelves in the Green lower level. We are uncertain at this time whether we will allow readers into the lower level while the cleaning is under way.

Telecommunications in the lower level will be repaired and perhaps up-graded. We do expect to allow readers and study occupants into the lower level while this occurs. We will ask each study occupant to allow the telecommunications workers into their studies as needed.

All of the carpet in the lower level will be replaced. There will be a separate schedule of installation which will certainly hinder access to the lower level. When we know the schedule and have a good idea of the work plan, we will decide what access to the lower level can be permitted during carpet installation. We do not know now when the carpet installation will occur.

Furnishings in Green will not be replaced very quickly; readers can expect to use temporary seating for months.

The public elevator opposite the Green circulation desk is operating now, but only among the top three floors. The freight elevator may be operational next week.

Meyer Library

Much of what is true for the Green lower level is also true for the Jonsson Library of Government Documents and the general collections in Meyer.

Once the temporary air ducts are removed and the cleaning of the collections in the Meyer lower level and mezzanine is under way, we expect to return the Jonsson Government Documents Library to service.

The Meyer elevators are both in operation.

When carpet installation occurs, readers can expect some disruptions. We do not know when the new carpet will be installed.

Braun Music Library

Because the analysis of the building systems that failed in Braun is still under way, we do not have a schedule for re-opening the lower level to readers.

The elevator is out of service.

The Archive of Recorded Sound remains closed.

SUL/AIR staff working with staff of Facilities Operations and a number of contractors have made excellent progress in following the unprecedented and highly effective immediate responses to the flooding. Such efforts were launched on the springboard of the participation of numerous student, faculty and staff volunteers early February 3. All of these deserve the strong expressions of gratitude given by President Casper, Provost Rice, Vice Provost Cox and the undersigned. Thanks to one and all for your patient understanding as we labor to return the affected libraries to service.

For further information, please await subsequent updates on the website and in the campus media.

Michael A. Keller
University Librarian;
Director of Academic Information Resources;
Publisher of HighWire Press
Stanford University

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