On Friday evening a very small valve burst in a pipe above the Philson libraries locked rolling shelves, and water gushed down on them for several hours.
Dripping pipes above plastic covered shelves after the water was finally stopped
The ceiling tiles turned to mush and caved in
Puddles being removed by carpet cleaning machines
Our library salvage kit, artistically reflected in a puddle
A big thank you to the property managers and cleaners who arrived, stopped the flooding (eventually), and brought water extractors and dehumidifiers, and to our evening, weekend and lending staff who came in and helped remove books from the shelves, lay them out to dry and interleave the wettest ones with paper towels, staying until midnight.
And then staff were back at work on Saturday making sure everything was drying without pages sticking together. A lot of books were only slightly wet on the bottom, where water had splashed onto shelves and run under them.
A book clothesline strung between shelves, and dehumidifiers going full bore
British Medical Journal volumes from the 1890s to the 1930s set up to dry in a study room
More books set out or hung up to dry
Books spread everywhere
Students continued to use the unaffected areas of the library to study on Saturday and Sunday, and we've been able to make more desks available to use again today, but we ask that all library users continue to be patient for the next few days while we clean up!