Library staff first discovered that water leaked from a radiator in the reading room of the Music Library on Friday, January 6th. While no books in the collection were damaged, two bookshelves needed to be moved, requiring the room be temporarily closed to students.
“With hundreds of books displaced and a shelving unit unstable due to a piece that needed to be removed to reach the radiator, we had to keep the room closed to patrons,” said Instruction and Marketing Librarian of the Music Libraries, Thad Garrett. “The rest of the Music Library was kept open regular hours, and our staff retrieved books from the reading room as needed.”
Students in need of materials located in the reading room during the temporary closure were able to retrieve materials with the assistance of library staff, and were recommended to use the graduate study and computer rooms.
After the closure of Architecture and Planning and the Physics satellite libraries earlier in the academic year, the temporary closure of the Music Library reading room caused concern.
Additionally, the Music Library hours have decreased for the 2016-2017 academic year. The library now closes at 7 pm, while it closed at 9 pm last year. Music students organized a petition in October to demonstrate to administration how valuable the Music Library is for students.
“While the recent closing of the reading rooms due to maintenance issues is understandable, I hope that this closure is not an omen of future permanent closure, which would affect music students negatively,” said musicology graduate student Ben Yuly.
Music School students view the reading room as an asset to their studies. While the closing of the reading room was only temporary, music students recognized the impact of its closure.
“The reading room is designed for a music scholar to be able to pull and read from multiple large volumes of non-circulating musical scores in the collection,” said music education graduate student William Tell. “This library is a treasure for musicians at The Catholic University of America and Washington, D.C. at large. Access to it is fundamental to the work of music students. The university needs to repair and reopen this library as soon as possible.”
The Staff in the recently closed Physics Library said that the library was rarely used for its intended purpose. Music students believe the library and its collections are integral to their studies, and would be adversely impacted if it were to permanently close.
“The music library is extremely important to the music students. It is an important resource for research and also for musicianship.The scores, books, and manuscript facsimiles housed in the library are invaluable for study and practice, and their collection in one place in the music building is indispensable,” said musicology graduate student Ben Yuly.
The necessary repairs were completed on Friday, January 13th, and the reading room re-opened following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend