Publication Date: Friday Feb 13, 1998
Libraries reopen, clean upProcess begins to restore 120,000 water-damaged books and papers
Stanford University libraries this week reopened some areas that were closed because of last week's storms, which damaged about 120,000 books.
The damaged books and other documents will be freeze-dried and--hopefully--returned to the shelves. They are now stored frozen in Union City awaiting the skills of a book restoration contractor.
The basements of several libraries flooded during the Feb. 2-3 storm, leaving up to four feet of water and mud in some underground areas where materials are stored.
The libraries hit by flood damage include Green and Meyer, the two main reference and research libraries on campus, as well as libraries at the Braun Music Center and Cubberley School of Education.
Some basement areas are still inaccessible and are being repaired, but most library services have been restored.
"Things are getting back to normal," said Lisa Trei of the Stanford News Service.
Damage estimates haven't been completed but are expected to top $1 million, university officials said.
Stanford President Gerhard Casper has praised the hundreds of people, including many students, who labored through the early morning hours of Feb. 3 to remove wet books and other material from flooded library basements.
In addition to damaged books, some graduate students lost valuable work when 60 study carrels in Green Library flooded. The research papers, like the books and other wet documents, were frozen before mildew could set in.
The flooding at Stanford occurred because the storm drain system could not handle the heavy runoff from the storm, said Margaret Laporte, manager of water resources in Facilities Operations.
"We had too much rain falling too fast," Laporte said. "Our storm drains were not designed to get 3.7 inches (of rain) in 24 hours."
Stanford was hit by 8.24 inches of rain in the first eight days of February, compared to 6.18 inches in all of January and 1.99 inches in December.