City of Phoenix to open temporary library to replace Burton Barr during construction

Posted: Updated:
The Phoenix City Council approved a "pop-up" library in central Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Phoenix City Council approved a "pop-up" library in central Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The temporary mall will be at Park Central Mall. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The temporary mall will be at Park Central Mall. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
In July, monsoon storms caused Burton Barr library's failing fire suppression system to give out, flooding the building and causing millions of dollars in damage. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) In July, monsoon storms caused Burton Barr library's failing fire suppression system to give out, flooding the building and causing millions of dollars in damage. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Seeing the need for another alternative, Phoenix City Council unanimously approved opening a new temporary library Wednesday afternoon. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Seeing the need for another alternative, Phoenix City Council unanimously approved opening a new temporary library Wednesday afternoon. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The flood damage at Burton Barr Library is going to take at least another seven months to clean up. Now, the Phoenix City Council has approved a temporary alternative.

In July, monsoon storms caused Burton Barr library's failing fire suppression system to give out, flooding the building and causing millions of dollars in damage. 

[READ MORE: Storm damage forces closure of Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix]

It's been closed ever since, forcing thousands of patrons like Beth Ellison and her boys to share the City's other smaller libraries instead.

She brought them to the "Century" library to look for books after school let out. 

[SLIDESHOW: Storm damage at Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix]

Her youngest son, Joseph, found his. But seventh-grader Michael left empty-handed. 

"'Animal Farm' was [taken] and I think that's because the other library was closed and other people came here and they took the books," said Michael.  

[READ MORE: Water-damaged Phoenix library to stay closed until June]

Seeing the need for another alternative, Phoenix City Council unanimously approved opening a new temporary library Wednesday afternoon. 

The "pop-up" library will go in the basement of an empty department store at the Park Central Mall

It'll open in late December, and serve patrons until the flagship library reopens next year. It will have computers, books, homework help and workforce assistance just like at Burton Barr. 

[RELATED: 3 City of Phoenix employees fired for Burton Barr Library water damage]

"That would be a good idea. That'll be helpful," said Ellison. "And maybe they'd have more selections like Burton." 

Rent for those nine months will costs $675,000. The City says insurance from the damages to Burton Barr will pay for all of it. 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

Hide bio