Burst sprinkler damages thousands of books in UTC library

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A burst sprinkler in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's new library has caused water damage to two-thirds of the half-million books, and has led to the basement floor being closed to the public.

University spokesman Kirk Englehardt said that UTC officials are talking with workers about ways to repair the floor so the basement may be reopened by the end of the month. The malfunction occurred in late January.

The cleanup plan is to pull up the wet carpet and buff the floors. The carpet will be replaced by the summer.

Library personnel put 9,000 books, those most damaged by water, into an industrial freezer. The books are en route to Texas for a special de-freeze process, and will be returned in four to six weeks.