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Flood damage to Norlin Library “minimal”

Norlin Library was one of as many as 70 CU buildings that were damaged during September flash floods.

Contrary to the photos shared on Twitter and Facebook, the real damage was “minimal,” according to Programming and Communications Librarian Deborah Fink.

Zach Henderson, 20, Junior bio medical engineering major, files books back into the shelves of the Norlin Library basement Thursday, September 26, 2013. Last week Norlin's basement's roof leaked due to the flood in Boulder. (Connor Dudley/CU Independent)
Zach Henderson, 20, Junior bio medical engineering major, files books back into the shelves of the Norlin Library basement Thursday, September 26, 2013. Last week Norlin’s basement’s roof leaked due to the flood in Boulder. (Connor Dudley/CU Independent)

Fink said the extent of the flooding was a pool of water in Laughing Goat and Norlin Commons and The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse. Leaks around the building and into the basement and backed-up drains which dripped water into the basement.

Water also seeped into a few offices the basement stacks in Norlin. Other than minimal splashing, no books in the basement got wet and of the 100 books of the general collection that were damaged, most will be successfully replaced or have saved by air drying.

“There was no damage to Archives,” Fink said. “There has been a persistent thing in social media that the basement of Norlin flooded… And then there are pictures of water being pumped out of the loading dock door.  It is all misleading.”

While the basement and books were not entirely void of floodwaters, the overall situation in campus’s iconic library was not as bad as students believed it to be, as political science major, Emma Woodyard, discovered.

“I walked by Norlin and expected to see excessive damage, but there was practically nothing,” Woodyard, 19, said. “I expected to see a lake.”

Larissa Brewster, an Asian studies major, was also surprised by the small amount of damage to Norlin despite media saturation.

“From the way that the school was talking about it, in the warning emails and analyzing the flood damage, it all sounded so ominous,” Brewster, 20, said of the library. “Now that I know the truth, I’m not surprised. I think it’s kinda funny.”

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Hannah Blatter at Hannah.blatter@colorado.edu.

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