UTC Library Flood Recovery Update

April 11, 2016

After 12 weeks of hard work, and in time for the Finals study-crunch, the Ground floor is ready to re-open! The floor may look a little rough around the edges, as a full decor restoration is not planned to happen until the summer. But the electrical and lighting work has been completed, ceiling tiles have been replaced, and the furniture and shelving have been fully cleaned. And, most importantly, the books and other borrowable items have been reviewed and treated (as-needed) for damage. All items on the floor will be available for browsing, using and borrowing as of Tuesday, April 12th. The paging system that has been in place during the flood recovery will also continue to be available for the rest of the semester. With the re-opening of the Ground floor, the West Stairwell (closest to Derthick Hall) will also reopen, and the elevators will once again travel to all floors in the building.  

Many thanks for your patience during the recovery, and we look forward to seeing you use the Ground floor materials, copying, and study spaces once again!

March 8, 2016

First Floor

We are happy to announce that the 1st Floor of the library is now officially reopen for use!

The space looks a little rough around the edges, but is totally functional, and final fixes will be made in the summer. 

Open Seating, Lounges and Study Rooms

All lounges, open seating, and study rooms are now available for use.   All small and medium study rooms in the building (including those on the 1st and 3rd floor) can be reserved for up to 3 hours; these reservations can even be made online.

Library Materials

In the central area of the floor, across from the Check Out Desk, a number of materials will again be available for browsing and borrowing. These materials include:  New Arrivals, DVDs, Children’s Books, Textbooks, and Newspapers.

Go Print, Quick Look-ups

GoPrint and quick look-up stations are also back and available for use.

Ground Floor

Please note, the Ground floor is still under construction and collection is still being cleaned.  The materials housed on Ground continue to be  available through the library paging system only.

Many thanks for your patience as we recover from this flood disaster. We continue to work as quickly as possible to restore the Ground floor; we hope to have it available by the end of March and will keep you updated as to its progress.

February 21, 2016


  • We have begun our book-by-book review of the impacted area of the ground floor collections, approximately 300,000 items. We have hired a number of new student assistant employees to help us complete this task. The cleaning protocol requires us to empty each shelf, clean the exterior of each book, inspect the interior of each book, clean the shelf of any debris, and return the clean books to the clean shelf.
  • The 8,500 very wet library books, initially frozen, are in the process of being “de-frosted". We hope to have these books returned to us in two-three weeks. Upon return, each book will be inspected in the manner described above.
  • We continue to gather pricing for the aforementioned wet books, in the event that some of the books are too damaged to return to the shelves.
  • The paging system we put in place to allow continued access to our print collection is working well, and there has been a steady increase in the number of requests we receive each day.

Building Status

  • After careful consideration, we’ve decided to move ahead with plans to open the First Floor without replacing the carpet. The carpet will take 8 to 10 weeks to manufacture, and it will be installed this summer.  
  • We hope to have the ability to open the Ground Floor around Monday, March 21st, pending resolution of collection access and cleaning, mentioned below.

First Floor

  • Our goal is to get the First Floor open for use around Monday, February 29th. *Update as of 2/26/2016: We anticipate the First Floor being ready late in the week of February 29th, so early March.
  • On Monday, February 22nd, we will begin to buff the First Floor. Buffing should take approximately 3 days.
  • When buffing is complete, the floor outlets and wall ports will be re-installed.
  • When the outlets and ports install is complete, the furniture will be returned to the floor.
  • Once the furniture is back in place, the floor will be open for use.

Ground Floor

  • We hope to have the ability to open the Ground Floor around Monday, March 21st.
  • When buffing is completed on the First Floor, it will be begin on the Ground Floor.
  • Floor outlets and ports will be installed.
  • Over 300 ceiling tiles will be replaced.
  • Numerous hanging lights will be replaced.
  • Compact shelving wheels and rails will be cleaned.


How to make study space on Ground available, yet keeping the Collection closed until it is fully cleaned is an ongoing topic of conversation.  We anticipate it will be the summer before we get the Collection fully available.

February 2, 2016


  • As many of you know, we froze some of the wet Library books after the flood as a way of preventing the development and spread of mold. Now these approximately 8,500 books are on the way to Texas for a special de-freeze process that helps to preserve the books as they thaw. We hope to have them back in 4-6 weeks. Upon return, we will review the items for integration back into the collection, or for replacement depending on the condition of the book.
  • We will shortly begin our book-by-book review of the entire impacted book area on the Ground Floor. To date, we completed a book-by-book review of those sections that were hardest hit by the flood. We now need to remove, inspect, and clean all of the books, as well as the shelf itself.
  • Pending review time we will hire additional institutional students to complete this task in the most expeditious manner possible.
  • Personnel in the Collections Department, with assistance from Library IT, is working to price the close to 9,000 identified as impacted to date, with assistance from Ambassador Books and Amazon. Items not priced via either of these services will be manually priced. At present 3,900 of the 8,500 books included a replacement cost.
  • The new paging system is working very well by all accounts.

The Building

  • We are awaiting the delivery of replacement ceiling tiles for the Ground floor.
  • We are awaiting sample carpet tiles for the Ground and First floors.  Once a new pattern has been selected, the state will either approve the direct purchase and replacement, or we will use a public bid option for carpet replacement.  
  • Group room walls have been repaired and partially painted.
  • Floor electrical outlets will be replaced on the Ground and First floors, as well as several light fixtures on Ground.
  • An external company helping us with the recovery, Belfor, is in the process of scraping the glue off the First and Ground floors, left by the original carpet tile.
  • Belfor has removed most fans and dehumidifiers from the building.
  • Students have been flexible in adapting to the new 2 hour study room reservation length, reduced from 4 hours to 2 hours in order to provide more rooms to more students.
  • The next Emergency Response meeting with the state is scheduled for this Thursday.
  • We have No Estimated Time of Opening yet for the First or Ground floors; we will update everyone once we have more information.

January 26, 2016


  • Recovery efforts continue throughout the 1st and Ground floors. Library staff is working with building, insurance, and state professionals to salvage materials and restore operations as quickly as possible.

Requesting Library Materials

  • The Library has instituted a temporary paging (or retrieval) system so that students, faculty and staff can use undamaged materials. While the Ground floor is still off-limits, you are now able to place a hold on an item you want. If it's available, library staff will retrieve the item from the Ground floor and will make it available at the 1st-floor CheckOut Desk within 24 hours of your request.  You will receive an email as soon as the item is ready for pick-up. What happens if the material you need has been damaged in the flood? We’ll borrow it from another library on your behalf using the inter-library loan system! Click here for complete details on how to get the materials you need.

3rd Floor Study Rooms

  • As 1st-floor study rooms are currently unavailable for use, the Library has temporarily made all  3rd-floor study rooms reservable for 2-hour study sessions. You may reserve online and check out a room key from the 1st-floor CheckOut Desk. Click here to see the room reservation calendar online. Please note: the Roth Grand Reading Room and the two 3rd-floor quiet study lounges continue to be available for regular study use as well.

Building Access

  • Most of the 1st-floor and the entire Ground floor remain closed at this time.
  • Construction is underway on 1st floor repairs.
  • The exterior building entrance on Vine/Douglas is now open for routine traffic.
  • The interior West Stairwell (the one the closest to the new Auditorium) remains closed.

We will update you on construction progress over the next week, and we hope to have more specific information available soon.

January 21, 2016

As you may be aware, the UTC Library  sustained water damage to its 1st and Ground floors on Monday evening.  Library staff are currently in 'triage mode' and still doing initial assessments before developing a full response plan. Here's the current status of the building and services:

Collection Services

  • Print and AV collections, located on 1st and Ground, are unavailable at this time.
  • All new item ordering has been stopped.
  • Requests for books, cds, dvds, etc. can be made through our catalog. (learn how)

Next steps for the Library's Collection of Materials on the Ground and 1st floors:

  • We hope to have an internal system in place next week allowing students, faculty and staff to borrow undamaged items.
  • At least two-thirds of the print collection was exposed to water and must be reviewed item by item to determine exposure to water (which will result in mold).
  • We have completed assessing the 1st floor collections (children’s, new books, and textbooks) and moved wet items to freezer storage (in an effort to prevent the growth and spread of mold).
  • We are actively at work assessing the impact to the Ground floor collection, which is where the majority of the collection lives.

Building entrances and stairwells

  • The exterior Vine/Douglas entrance to the building is temporarily closed.
  • The interior West Stairwell (the one closest to the new auditorium) is closed.
  • Ground floor is closed until further notice.
  • The majority of the 1st floor is closed, please see details below.

Building services

The following 1st floor services are available:

  • Check Out Desk, including Reserves and Technology check out,
  • Copy Services,
  • 24/5 space, including a Go Print station,
  • The interior East (or main) Stairwell, and public elevators, are available to travel to floors 2, 3, and 4 (and the good news is that 2, 3, and 4 sustained no damage).

The following 1st floor services are not available:

  • No group rooms,
  • No lounges,
  • No public seating whatsoever
  • No Quick Look-Up or Go Print stations

    We will post another update within a few days, and will keep you informed as to the status of all efforts to reinstate services and spaces. Thank you for your warm wishes, offers of assistance, and your patience!