City Council votes to open pop-up library along light rail corridor

(Nicole Neri/DD)
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The Phoenix City Council unanimously approved plans for a small, temporary library in Phoenix on Wednesday.

The new library will provide library services while the Burton Barr Central Library recovers from extensive water damage.

Vice Mayor and City Council member Laura Pastor called the miniature, pop-up library an “innovative” and “creative” idea.

The new library will be located in the former Park Central Mall just North of intersection of Thomas Road and Central Avenue, for at least nine months. The city granted the Library and Finance Department a year-long lease, with the option to end it after nine months, according to city documents.

The new location will provide library services such as public computer access, literacy programs, after school homework help, workforce assistance and access to books.

The Burton Barr library had all five of its floors flooded after a monsoon caused a fire sprinkler pipe to burst in July. The library is closed for renovation until at least summer 2018.

The collection development coordinator said in September the flood damaged about 8,000 of its 500,000 items

RELATED: City Council approves $2.3 million for Burton Barr

Phoenix Public Libraries spokesperson Lee Franklin said while Burton Barr is closed for a year, many of its programs have been moved to other libraries. However, many of their customers are unable to travel outside of the downtown area to the other library locations.

Franklin said the library has relocated some of their programs to places like the Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum to accommodate residents who may not be able to travel to another location. The new library is a similar community accommodation measure.

The pop-up library is anticipated to cost $675,000, which will be paid by insurance funds granted for the damage at Burton Barr, according to city documents.

Contact the reporter at Leah.Soto@asu.edu.

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