Art & Architecture Library Update

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Art & Architecture Library is still closed for repairs; the current estimate for reopening is mid-September.

As of Monday, August 20, full operations of the Library Annex have resumed, and requests for Annex items can now be fulfilled as usual. The Art & Architecture materials that had been temporarily stored in the aisles of the Annex have been moved to temporary storage in the second Library Annex building next door (where construction is nearing completion).

Photos of the flooding, aftermath, and cleanup efforts are now available here.


On August 1, a water main burst at Mississippi Street flooded the lower two floors of the Spencer Museum of Art, including the Murphy Art & Architecture Library on the first floor, damaging about ten percent of that library’s total print collections and causing the library and museum to close for restoration and repairs.

What is the extent of the damage to the library collections and to the building/space? What is being doing to repair the damage?

About 20,000 volumes within the library have sustained water damage, according to Art & Architecture Librarian Susan Craig. Those books have been loaded onto a freezer trailer and shipped to a repair facility in Chicago to be vacuum-freeze-dried, evaluated and treated.

A large number of undamaged books have also been removed and stored temporarily at the Library Annex, in order to begin restoration work on the building itself. This work entails moving bottom bookshelves to get access to wet carpet, shifting perimeter shelving to remove baseboards and damaged drywall and extract water to prevent the growth of mold.

What other library services are affected?

The move of materials to the Library Annex caused a temporary disruption of service there, but regular Annex services have resumed as of Monday, August 20.

When will normal service resume?

We do not yet have a firm reopening date for the Art & Architecture Library, but the most current estimate is mid-September.

How are the Libraries handling service for these subject areas in the interim?

Patrons are encouraged to contact any library service desk for assistance (to contact KU Libraries by phone, email, instant message or text, visit If you need an item from our collections that is temporarily unavailable, we may be able to request a copy from another library via interlibrary loan (ILL). Several Art & Architecture staff and faculty members have been temporarily relocated to Watson Library during the closure.

Alternate library locations and their hours:

Additional help:

Thank you for your patience and support as we work to restore our affected collections, facilities and services.

Connect with KU Libraries

Like KU Libraries on Facebook  Follow KU Libraries on Twitter  Watch KU Libraries on YouTube  Follow KU Libraries' photo stream on Flickr  Follow KU Libraries on Instagram  Follow KU Libraries on Pinterest

Media contacts

Leah Hallstrom
Communications Specialist

KU Today