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BPL says Copley AC system not broken, but had to be shut off due to unrelated construction work

Update: Copley workers are steamed.

Boston Public Library officials say they're hopeful they can turn the air conditioning back on in the new wing of the Copley library early next week after work is finished on a project to rebuild a loading dock at the library - although they caution that, as with any construction project, there could be delays.

BPL spokeswoman Lisa Pollack said this morning that the library turned off the AC to minimize any possible problems with debris from the loading-dock work getting into the library mechanical room that houses the AC equipment - for example, "chunks of concrete falling and hitting active steam pipes."

Library guidelines require shutting down any time the inside temperature gets to 86 degrees, which has been happening a lot of late, given that it's now June and all. Pollack said the old McKim wing tends to stay cooler than the newer wing along Boylston Street - perhaps not surprising given it was built in a time before air conditioning, plus, it doesn't have giant sunlight-absorbing plate windows - and so librarians have been able to mostly keep that end of the library open.

Pollack added that the lack of AC in the main parts of the library have not affected the more fragile books and items in the special-collections department, because that has its own HVAC system, which has not been affected by the shutdown.

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Comments

The BPL website says nothing about A/C problems or maintenance. So all I know is what I read on Uhub.
So if I understand, the BPL is open, until or unless it's 86 degrees, at which point it's closed? If I want to go to the BPL, I should just guess if it's going to be open when I get there?
Great communications BPL!

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The problem is that since there's an 86-degree cutoff for closing parts of the building (like the entire new wing), it's a minute-by-minute thing, so they don't know exactly when they'll have to start ushering people out.

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Meanwhile the South End has been without a library for 4 years with no end in sight.

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What happened to the South End library? I could swear I was there more recently than four years ago, but I guess not. Now they're about to close the West End Branch, my go-to branch, for an indefinite period of time while the cool 60s style building is torn down and housing goes up.. It is said a new and improved library will occupy space there, but, given the track record of such things,I don't hold my breath.

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You can thank the city for not fixing the original cause of the flooding and closure prior to COVID for that! Now it's just a matter of time to see who the lowest bidder is...

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There is nothing on their website or social media saying it is closed. I don't want to walk all the way there to pick up my hold and find out I can't. Anybody know if you can still get in to pick up holds?

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Or so they say, but you might want to call before you go, because when the internal thermometer hits 86, they shut down.

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They should make their GC provide interim AC units. You know, the kind able to be moved around from room to room.

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Crazy idea, I know.

The phone number is on the BPL website. 617.536.5400.

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I spent a few minutes going through their extensive phone menu and then gave up. Couldn't easily find a way to reach a human in the actual building to ask. (Not as bad as trying to reach a human at Xfinity or Verizon!)

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BPL is capable of temporary messaging on their home page. They currently have 2 messages about early and temporary closures on their home page. But for some reason they choose not to include messaging about the A/C problem.

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there was a message on their website when it was closed last week

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But if you don't find the answer you are looking for, that little computer you are holding also has a function where you can press some buttons and speak directly to someone to get the answer.

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Now it says
BUILDING UPDATE: The cooling system in the Central Library is currently offline, which means that we are experiencing higher than normal temperatures throughout the Central Library. Please plan your visit accordingly.

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I had written the issue was "debris and dust" from the construction project. In fact, Pollack says, it's just debris, big pieces of it, like "chunks of concrete falling and hitting active steam pipes," so I've changed the story to reflect that.

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Why BPL can't just delay that construction project til fall or winter where the AC isn't needed as much. This is MBTA level of incompetence!

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This is already being discussed in the other thread...

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You did what WBZ and WCVB refused to do, you actually investigated this. Maybe you should be the CEO for one of them? I mean, they don't even acknowledge ats on Twitter.

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