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AC problems shut Copley library for second day

Sign on door at central library saying it's shut due to cooling issues

Penny Cherbuino snapped the sign posted on one of the doors at the BPL central library in Copley Square yesterday. The BPL reports the library is closed today as well.

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Given that it's 54˚ out and might get into the low 60s … not sure how cool they're trying to get it.


The newer 1970s part of the Central Library ("Boylston", formerly "Johnson") does not have proper ventilation, no windows that can be opened and closed, so hot air can get stuck in there if the HVAC system is down for a few hot days. The older side of the library (McKim) is darker and has plenty of working windows, and therefore stays cooler. The threshold to close the library is 86 degrees. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to chill in a building at 86F unless I was some kind of reptile.


Health regulations and general comfort principles require that the air in a building be turned over at a certain rate depending upon the number of occupants per unit of volume. A building without functioning HVAC rapidly becomes uninhabitable even if the temperature looks OK.


Ventilation matters.

COVID is still with us and now the world is realizing that airborne transmission of respiratory pathogens is real.

I worked with a group that published papers on this in the early 2000s - papers that I yeeted out on request by the .pdf bushel when COVID hit.