Phoenix library reopening after heavy flood damage



TED SIMONS: PHOENIX'S FLAGSHIP PUBLIC LIBRARY IS SCHEDULED TO REOPEN THIS WEEKEND. THE LIBRARY HAS BEEN CLOSED AFTER A BROKEN SPRINKLER PIPE CAUSED HEAVY WATER DAMAGE LAST YEAR. JOINING US NOW WITH AN UPDATE IS LEE FRANKLIN, COMMUNICATIONS RELATIONS MANAGER FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX LIBRARIES.

LEE FRANKLIN: YES.

TED SIMONS: GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

LEE FRANKLIN: THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

TED SIMONS: IS THIS THING READY TO REOPEN? ARE WE READY TO LOOK AT SOME BOOKS?

LEE FRANKLIN: ABSOLUTELY. YES WE ARE EXCITED.

TED SIMONS: WILL ANY AREAS BE OFF LIMITS?

LEE FRANKLIN: NO, ALL OF THE AREAS THAT WERE OPEN AND AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE ARE GOING TO BE BACK AND READY TO GO SATURDAY MORNING.

TED SIMONS: SOUNDS GOOD. I WANT TO GET TO WHAT IS PLANNED AS FAR AS CELEBRATING THE REOPENING AND A BUNCH OF FAMILY FRIENDLY PROGRAMS COMING UP HERE. BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED.

LEE FRANKLIN: OKAY.

TED SIMONS: WHAT HAPPENED?

LEE FRANKLIN: IN A NUTSHELL, THERE WAS A STORM THAT CAUSED SOME DAMAGE TO THE ROOF, WHICH TRIGGERED THE FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM TO THINK THAT THERE WAS SMOKE, SO IT DISCHARGED THE PIPES IN THE CEILING ON THE FIFTH FLOOR WITH WATER. THE WATER GOING IN THERE RUPTURED A CORRODED PIPE, AND WE HAD WATER EXPOSURE TO ABOUT 50% OF THE BUILDING.

TED SIMONS: 50%?

LEE FRANKLIN: YES.

TED SIMONS: AND THE SPRINKLER HEADS BASICALLY CLOGGED AND THE WATER BUSTED THROUGH?

LEE FRANKLIN: WELL, IT WAS A CORRODED PIPE IN THE SYSTEM AND SO PIPE BASICALLY BLEW OUT. WHICH THE PRESSURE WAS GOOD. THE WATER GOT WHERE IT NEEDED TO GO, FOR SURE.

TED SIMONS: ALL FIVE FLOORS FLOODED. IS THAT TRUE?

LEE FRANKLIN: WE HAD WATER DAMAGE TO ALL FIVE FLOORS, ABOUT 50% OF THE BUILDING HAD WATER EXPOSURE, WHICH YOU NEVER WANT ONE DROP IN A LIBRARY.

TED SIMONS: CARPET, FURNITURE, BOOKS ALL OF IT?

LEE FRANKLIN: MOSTLY CARPET. A LOT OF DRY WALL. WE HAD TO REPLACE SOME ELECTRICAL. THE FIFTH FLOOR IS A RAISED FLOOR BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE THE COMPUTER AND ELECTRICAL NETWORKING IS.

TED SIMONS: BOOKS CAN'T TAKE WATER. THEY DON'T SWIM WELL.

LEE FRANKLIN: NO, THEY DON'T. AND THAT'S A REGULAR THING THAT WE DO WITH ALL OF OUR MATERIALS THAT COME IN AND OUT OF THE LIBRARY, WE EXPECT THEM TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE OF THE BEST QUALITY THEY CAN BE TO COME WITH YOU TO YOUR HOME. ANY KIND OF LIQUID EXPOSURE, WE TOOK THAT VERY SERIOUSLY. SO OUT OF A COLLECTION OF ALMOST 500,000 ITEMS AT BURTON BARR JUST OVER 7,000 WERE AFFECTED BY WATER.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU REPLACE THEM? DO YOU FIND NEW COPIES – HOW DOES THAT WORK?

LEE FRANKLIN: IT WAS A MIXTURE OF ALL OF THAT. WE WORKED WITH OUR CUSTOMERS TO SAY, HEY, OF THIS COLLECTION -- AND THE COLLECTION THAT GOT THE MOST EXPOSURE WAS OUR REFERENCE COLLECTION RIGHT UNDER THAT SECTION OF THE CEILING ON THE 5TH FLOOR. WE WORK WITH OUR CUSTOMERS. WE EVALUATE HOW MUCH USE DID IT GET? AND WE LOOK AT WHAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE FOR WHERE WE'RE GOING AND WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE USING. WE REPLACE HARD PHYSICAL ITEMS WHERE WE CAN, BUT ALSO WE HAVE DIGITAL WEB-BASED STUFF TOO.

TED SIMONS: I KNOW THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT OF CONTROVERSY. THE CONTRACTOR RECOMMENDED REPAIRS. THOSE WERE NOT DONE BECAUSE OF LACK OF FUNDS. WITHOUT GETTING TOO DEEP INTO THOSE WEEKS, HAVE WE SEEN CHANGES IN LIBRARY OVERSIGHT TO MAKE SURE SOMETHING LIKE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN?

LEE FRANKLIN: ABSOLUTELY. OUR CITY MANAGER HAS WORKED WITH THE VARIOUS MOVING PARTS THAT CARE TAKE OUR FACILITIES, OUR BUILDINGS AND OUR RESOURCES. AND THEY LED ON GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF WHAT HAPPENED AND PUT THINGS IN PLACE TO -- TO KEEP WHAT -- WHAT HAD HAPPENED THAT LEAD UP TO THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S GOOD NEWS, BECAUSE AS WE'RE GOING TO SEE HERE, YOU HAVE RENOVATION GOING ON. THE LIBRARY LOOKS BRAND NEW. LOOKS LIKE A NICE LIBRARY.

LEE FRANKLIN: YEAH. THAT'S -- YEP, OUR FIRST FLOOR ADULT SECTION. WE HAVE LOTS OF STUFF READY FOR PEOPLE TO COME IN AND CHECK OUT.

TED SIMONS: WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THE REOPENING?

LEE FRANKLIN: WE ARE GOING -- OUR BOOK ROOM IS GOING TO BE REOPENED, WHICH EVERYONE’S EXCITED ABOUT. WE HAVE AN 1800S WASHINGTON HANDS PRESS THAT PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE A MEMENTO AND SEE SOME RARE BOOK ITEMS. OUR CHILDREN'S AREA, WHICH HAS SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED. WE DID SOME ENHANCEMENTS TO THE AREA, SO WE'LL HAVE A MAGICIAN, AND PRINCESSES FOR STORY TIME. WE'RE IN FULL SWING OF OUR SUMMER READING PROGRAM. SO WHAT PEOPLE CAN EXPECT COMING TO BURTON BARR ON SATURDAY IS A COMMUNITY HUB THAT IS KIND OF THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY, FAMILY FRIENDLY, SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. WE'RE GOING TO BE IN FULL SWING. SUPER BUSY SATURDAY. LOTS OF FUN, GREAT, FUN STUFF TO DO, ALL FOR FREE.

TED SIMONS: ALL FOR FREE. YES, IT'S THE LIBRARY, BUT IT WILL STILL FEEL LIKE THE BURTON BARR LIBRARY.

LEE FRANKLIN: WE HAVE DONE SOME SIGNIFICANT SERVICE ENHANCEMENTS. SEVERAL AREAS GOT SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDED FOOTPRINTS. WE HAVE A 3-D PRINTER ROOM, DESIGNATED COMPUTER LABS. 66 NEW COMPUTERS AND COLLEGE DEPOTS, SO WE HAVE A LOT OF SERVICE ENHANCEMENTS, BUT WE'LL HAVE THAT FAMILIAR BURTON BARR FEELING TOO. YOU WILL WALK IN, AND A LOT OF THE THINGS THAT MAKE IT THE MAGICAL BURTON BARR ARE STILL GOING TO BE THERE.

TED SIMONS: SOUNDS GOOD. THANK YOU.

LEE FRANKLIN: YES. SIGN UP FOR SUMMER READING.

TED SIMONS: I JUST MIGHT DO THAT. [ LAUGHTER ]

Phoenix’s flagship public library is scheduled to reopen June 16 following heavy water damage last year caused by a broken sprinkler pipe. The Burton Barr Central Library was closed for nearly a year for repairs. A storm in July 2017 confused the facility’s smoke-detection system, filling the fire-sprinkler system with water. The sprinkler heads did not activate, but water from a broken pipe flooded all five floors of the library. Lee Franklin, communications relations manager for the city of Phoenix libraries, will tell us about the library’s reopening and improvements that have been made.

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Lee Franklin, Communications relations manager for the city of Phoenix libraries

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