TCU library still partially closed from winter storm damage

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The TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library has experienced partial closure since early February, and it is unknown when it will completely reopen. 

The west wing doors of the building, facing University Drive, remain closed while other parts of the library have reopened for use.

Texas experienced its first snowstorm in over a decade on Feb. 14. The intense weather brought power outages, frozen pipes and a lack of water. TCU closed campus for the week of Feb. 15, which included the closure of the library. 

Although the campus reopened and classes resumed the following week, the library remained closed due to internal damage from the storm. Materials and resources within the library are still being treated, and some items have been restored. 

Students and faculty have not been informed on what specifically broke to cause this closure. Still, TCU has kept students updated as more of the library becomes readily available.

“I felt like I was somewhat informed”, said Deanna Harper, a senior psychology major. “They told us that the winter weather caused problems in the library, but that is all that we really know.”

The closing has meant that some students have had to find a different place to study.

“Having the library close down and just with the winter storm just throwing everything so unexpectedly, I know that impacted our students in a greater capacity because of that,” Megan Mosiniak, the hall director for Moncrief Hall, said. “They didn’t get that space to be able to study how they want to study.” 

The west side of the library is closed until further notice. (Stephanie Joynt/Reporter)

Since its closure, the library has progressively opened for student access. An email was released to the Horned Frog community on Feb. 26 announcing the reopening of the east wing.

“I am happy to announce that the TCU library is now open on the east side for your research and study needs,” wrote Tracy Hull, the dean of the library. “The west entrance (facing University Drive) will remain closed temporarily as cleanup continues in the area impacted by the winter storm.”

Every email that has been sent out to students and faculty has not stated what the physical damages are to the library. Attempts to discuss the subject with library staff were unsuccessful. The west wing closure has eliminated two main rooms that students typically study in, along with half of the basement study tables. 

Students are welcome to study in other areas of the library. (Stephanie Joynt/Reporter)

“A lot of students need books, materials, and other resources we can’t access right now, so it is difficult,” said Harper. “We do have some other resources that students can go through to try and get the books they need though.”

In the most recent email sent out to students, Hull announced that parts of the main library were open for access. That area includes access to books and texts that were not available before, such as reference books, theses, and government documents. 

Additionally, “5% of the onsite collection has been removed for treatment,” Hull said. “Students will be notified if the resource they are seeking is unavailable.”

Additional emails are expected to be sent out more when the library reopens. The official date for west wing access for students has yet to be announced. 

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Alexandra Lang is a Journalism and Political Science double major from San Antonio, Texas. She has worked for TCU360 since her freshman year, and she is currently the Executive Editor of The Skiff.

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