Rochester Public Library to partially reopen Wednesday

Recovery continues after water leak that flooded all three floors.

Posted: Sep 24, 2019 11:12 AM
Updated: Sep 24, 2019 4:22 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Four days after a major water leak forced it to close, the Rochester Public Library will partially reopen on Wednesday.

A water softener leak sent water into all three levels of the library and only the first floor is being opened to the public for now.

“It’s not a perfect solution,” says Library Director Audrey Betcher. “A complete reopening is what our staff will be focused on in the coming days.”

No damage estimate to the library has been released to the public yet.

“Knowing how much the community needs the library, our number one goal over the last few days was to get open as soon as possible,” says Betcher.

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ROCHESTER, Minn. – Cleanup continues after a massive water leak at the Rochester Public Library.

The library remains closed for a third straight day Tuesday as staff continues the recovery process from a water softener leak that flooded all three floors of the building.

“Our team is working hard to get the library back open,” says Library Director Betcher, adding that she hopes to know more after talking to restoration experts later Tuesday. “We should have a good idea about our status after we hear back from outside crews who are determining the full extent of the damage.”

Betcher says the library bookdrop is open, the Bookmobile is back on the road, library holds will be extended, and nothing will be due back until Wednesday.

Betcher says only about three carts of books from the library collection were damaged by the leak but Friends of the Rochester Public Library says it lost thousands of books is was planning to sell. Pat Stephenson, co-manager of the Friends Bookstore, says book donations are not being accepted at this time.

The Rochester Public Library Foundation is accepting donations at

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