Santa Barbara Central Library.
The Santa Barbara Central Library reopened its upper level on Jan. 24 but has been forced to close it again. Credit: Serena Guentz / Noozhawk photo

The Santa Barbara Public Library has closed its Central Library through Saturday because of “unanticipated construction impacts,” the City of Santa Barbara said Monday.

The Central Library already has been operating under modifications because of multiple construction projects underway since July, including renovation of the Library Plaza and construction of a new accessible elevator and a new staff workspace on the lower level.

The downstairs Children’s Library reopened last November, and the upper level had just reopened last week.

“On Wednesday, Jan. 25, there was a critical failure of the dust mitigation plan for the elevator work in progress in the center of Central Library, so the library acted out of an abundance of caution to modify operations to protect the health and safety of staff and patrons,” the library said. “While the air quality is being monitored and construction plans are being assessed, Central Library will remain closed.”

The Central Library is set to reopen on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

In the meantime, while library staff are unavailable to answer the main phone line, people can still contact staff during regular hours by using the live chat on the library’s website, by texting 805.273.8916, or by calling the Eastside Library at 805.963.3727 or Montecito Library at 805.969.5063.

The library also said that material holds ready for pickup at the Central Library will be extended through the closure.

Since the Faulkner Gallery is on a separate HVAC system, room rental events scheduled will not be affected by the closure, but outside of reserved times, the gallery is closed for art viewing.

Additionally, to replace the Central Library’s regularly scheduled Music and Movement class, another class will take place at the Eastside Library at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

City staff have not yet said how this will affect the timeline for construction and full library reopening, but construction of all the projects were originally set to be complete in the fall, with most of the library reopening in the summer after completion of the new staff workspace.

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