The West Wing of Zimmerman Library will reopen at the start of the fall semester. It is temporarily closed to allow the installation of a fire suppressions system. However, library employees will be able to retrieve books shelved in the area for check out so library services will continue as usual. The Anderson Reading Room and the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections will remain open during the installation.
After the devastating fire in the Zimmerman basement in 2006, the State Fire Marshall mandated the installation of a fire suppression system throughout Zimmerman Library. The installation of the system in the historically significant West Wing area is a particular challenge. The library administration and UNM Physical Plant have made a concerted effort to be sure that the installation is done in a way that has the least impact on the aesthetics of the interior.
Martha Bedard, Dean of University Libraries, says, "We are absolutely committed to minimizing the impact of the installation on the lovely interiors of the West Wing. The area is one of the most popular spaces on campus for students and for significant UNM events. It will be just as beautiful when they are done as when they started."
The amount of care that must be taken will extend the project throughout the summer and into the fall. The library has chosen to close the West Wing for the summer so crews can work throughout the day in order to complete the project as quickly as possible.
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