On July 1, 2017, a flood occurred on level 2 of the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library when a water main outside the library broke. The library is lower than the pipe so the water, following its natural course, flowed downhill, entered the library through utility doors, and filled a mechanical room to overflowing.
The physical plant crew noticed the spike in water flow and responded rapidly, turning the water off and sending a crew to assess the damage. Archives and library staff were on the scene within the hour.
The water level never reached a depth of more than two inches, but it did spread. There was water throughout the archives and associated offices, and out into the public areas.
Fortunately, no archival materials were damaged or destroyed; a few supplies were lost. Damage was limited primarily to carpets and to plywood flooring underlying the movable shelving on which collections are stored. In order to repair the floors, the compact shelving has to be removed.
First, the collections must be moved off the shelves and out of their present locations. Storage has been located within the library and much of the first phase of the moving has been completed. Renovations, are expected to commence in September. Staff will maintain limited public services and research room hours throughout renovations. Please check the APRCA home page for updates and information on contacting archives staff.
The limited hours and services apply only to the archives (historical collections and photographs, maps, university archives). The operations of Oral History, the Film Archives, Alaska Books, Journals and Newspapers, the photography lab, and the Alaska Native Languages have not been affected.
Contact and other information can be obtained on the APRCA home page.