State of the library

Librar­ian Theresa Swan­son putting new books onto the shelves.

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.

Image cour­tesy of Felic­ity Bosk — The Stinger
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