The library is slowly recovering after the flood that brougt more than nine inches of rain to Superior between June 19 and 20, 2012. There were 149,000 books lost in the flood. The library is currently re-ordering books, and working with faculty to know what books the students are most likely to use. They are supplying students with access to 150,000 electronic books (e-books) and have available Ipads and Nook Simple Touches.
The majority of the books in the library have been kept in the basement. When it had been built originally in the 1960’s many of the books were stored on the second floor, but in the 1960’s the code had been that the floors could hold shelves 150 pounds per square inch.
In 2009 it was discovered that the weight code was different and now the second floor could only hold 100 pounds per square inch. This change is why you can see so many columns in the first floor computers area and why the books were moved to the basement.
The first floor was kept as an open and modern student area.
“We wanted to provide more student space,” said Library Director Deb Nordgren. “We see students studying in groups and interactive teaching. We wanted to make sure there was study space for that.”
Much of the campus is on a wetland because we are so close to the lake. Damage from the flood was significant on other parts of campus, including the heating plant that had succumbed to 30 feet of water.
“Until we get all our materials back, we may need to borrow from other University of Wisconsin System schools. If students are unfamiliar with the process, our staff is happy to work to get those materials ordered and delivered here,” said Nordgren.
Campus Safety is looking into making sure this doesn’t happen again as well as working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They are working with the heating lines and heating plant first and foremost because it affects all of campus.