Temporary library to open next week in central Phoenix

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

In July, water damage from a broken pipe forced the closure of the Burton Barr Library, leaving its one million annual visitors searching for alternatives.

Repairs are expect to take least six more months. In the meantime, the City of Phoenix is working on an alternative for its flagship library.

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

"We had a lot of our customers that discovered us in other neighborhoods, which we were excited about, but we also heard from a number of our Phoenix-Central Phoenix customers that getting beyond central Phoenix was a little more challenging," said Franklin.

In November, City Council voted to rent the basement of an old department store at Park Central Mall. 

Now, about 50 employees are hurrying to build the new temporary library, setting up shelves, sorting books and stacking everything in its place, 

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

"We've been moving the materials over from Burton Barr since early Tuesday morning," said Lee Franklin, Community Relations Manager for the Phoenix Public Library.

"There's a little bit of organized chaos." 

On the shelves you'll be able to find about 50 thousand of the most popular books, CDs and DVDs brought over from the Burton Barr.

[SLIDESHOW: Check out the damage and work underway]

"We will have programming, early literacy programming, family programming like story time," said Franklin. 

The goal is to have the new Park Central location open to the public by Jan. 5 and it'll stay open until repairs on the Burton Barr are done.

Franklin encourages library visitors to check the library's website regularly for possible date changes.

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