February 28, 2014
When midnight rolls around on a Thursday night, you know where you'll find a lot of Tulane students?
If you guessed the library, you're right. That's where Lance Query, dean of libraries, found at least 150 students last week as rainwater began pouring onto books through two holes in the roof of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.
With thousands of books at risk as water cascaded onto the stacks, Lance took to the library's public address system and made a plea for help. He was hoping that a handful of students would come to assist staff members. What he got was an army of volunteers who quickly formed lines and began passing books to safety.
While many books, as well as volunteers, received an inevitable soaking, the teamwork of library staff, facilities services members, UNICCO employees and students (who Lance dubbed Tulane's Monuments Men and Women) worked hard to mitigate the damage. On behalf of the entire Tulane community, I want to thank all of the staff and students who came to the rescue of our library and books. We are proud of you.
Given our experience in Katrina, we know a thing or two about remediating waterlogged books and Lance may get some of the books back in circulation even before their overdue date. In the meantime, the whole city is getting ready for the biggest weekend of the Carnival season. The library will be closed Monday and Tuesday to mark the holiday. Lance promises he won't call.
Have a great Mardi Gras,
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