On Saturday 12 January at the Bodleianís Book Storage Facility (BSF), a sprinkler was activated causing water damage to a number of books. This incident is highly unusual and is the first time this has occurred since the BSF opened in September 2010. Bodleian Libraries staff responded to the matter immediately and are working with the Universityís Estates Services to investigate the problem. At the moment it is not yet known what caused the sprinkler to go off, but there is no evidence of a fire.
In total 5,724 books from a wide variety of collection areas were affected. The wet materials have been dispatched for freezing and drying, the recommended treatment for such incidents. We anticipate that all books will return to their collections but are not able to make a final assessment until the restoration process has been completed. SOLO has been updated to note those items that are temporarily unavailable. Library staff and the Just in Time Team are on alert to locate an alternative copy if possible from other sources should a reader have an urgent need to consult a title which is temporarily inaccessible during conservation treatment.
The BSF reopened on Monday 14 January and had returned to normal operations by the afternoon of Tuesday 15 January. We thank you for their patience as we respond to this incident.