Berkeley’s central library to reopen Monday after flooding

The central library will reopen Monday

The Berkeley Public Central Library is closed today, Sunday, after a small fire in a restroom on Saturday caused sprinklers to flood a public area of the building.

The book returns are open, however, and Donna Corbeil, Director of Library Services, says the library plans to reopen at its regular time on Monday.

Today crews are cleaning up the water damage which was prompted by a fire alarm setting off automatic sprinklers.

The fire ignited in a public restroom on the second floor. It is not known how it got started. Nobody was injured and the public and staff were evacuated.

Berkeleyans showed just how much they appreciate their city’s library with many contacting both the library and Berkeleyside expressing concern when they saw fire engines outside the building on Kittredge Street.

Berkeleyside reader BerkeW_berk wrote in our Comments: “I stopped by to return books shortly after it happened and could see a tremendous amount of water cascading on to the 1st floor. Library employees and the Fire Dept. seemed to be working hard to protect the books on the shelves. Staff were out on the steps to hand-collect my (slightly overdue) books — nice grace under pressure!”

Also worth noting: the library’s branch van is out for maintenance until further notice. Branch van holds can be picked up at the central Library.

Central library closes because of water damage [03.17.12]

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  • voxhumana

    Homeless getting in out of the rain and smoking pot in the rest room.

  • BerkeleyCitizen

    @voxhumana:disqus curious–do you have inside information?

  • Voxhumana

    No, just a presumption, based on years of observation.

  • morning sun

    I wouldn’t doubt it. The library’s wonderful but my inaugural experience taking my kids to the children’s floor involved finding a cooking-up spoon on the diaper table in the bathroom. Further evidence of how out-of-control the homeless are allowed to be in this town.

  • CJ_Higley

     Reminds me of one of my all-time low Berkeley experiences, when my then 3-year old daughter went running to the outdoor book-drop at the main branch and narrowly missed stepping in a pile of human excrement that had been deposited squarely in front of the drop slots.  We still love the library and use it regularly, but the homelessness downtown can make family outings less than ideal. 

  • batard

    Berkeley tends to reward it’s least productive citizens the most, and is mostly suspicious of the ones at the other end of the spectrum. 

    Coddling out-of-control bums is making this town a toilet bowl (literally and figuratively).

  • Guest

    To the author and readers of this story: it’s unlikely that “a fire alarm [set] off automatic sprinklers” in this case. Some fire suppression systems are designed to activate when an alarm goes off, but in this case, I’m quite sure it was the fire itself that actuated the sprinkler. And, yes, there was was some water damage, but consider how much damage the fire would have caused had it not been extinguished…