Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester Public Library will be closed Monday due to a weekend water leak that soaked much of the downtown Rochester building.

The Rochester Fire Department responded to the library on 2nd Street Southeast around 12:30 this afternoon after a broken water softener flooded the third floor of the building and soaked large portions of the first and second floors. The firefighters assisted the library staff and other city workers to evacuate the building and removing the water they could with their available equipment.

To help alleviate the disruption in service, the library Bookmobile will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. along 1st Street SE. Library customers can borrow items and pick up holds using the Bookmobile. The library’s book drop will remain open, but no materials will be due on Monday.

photo courtesy Rochester Public Library

Library Director Audrey Betcher reported the book and media collection were largely unaffected but staff areas and meeting areas were damaged.

“There were several inches of standing water in the central portion of all three library floors,” says Betcher, who cites the library’s alarm system for preventing further damage. “We received an alarm earlier today that alerted us of the problem and allowed us to quickly respond.”

Betcher says it will take some time to assess the extent of the damage to the building. At this point, it’s hoped the library can reopen on Tuesday.

photo courtesy Rochester Public Library

The League of Women Voters was planning to hold an event at the library Monday evening concerning the November Rochester Public Schools bond issue referendum Monday. That has been relocated to the Mayo Civic Center and is still scheduled to begin at 7 PM.
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