McHenry Library to reopen

4/23/10, 7 p.m. McHenry Library to reopen Monday, April 26

Campus officials determined today that McHenry Library will reopen next Monday, April 26. A small, accidental fire on Thursday, April 15, in the area of McHenry now under renovation sent smoke into the library's new 114,000-square-foot wing. The smoke and soot dirtied roughly half of its 1.4 million volumes, furnishings and other equipment on its upper three floors.

Restoration efforts, now nearly completed, included hand-cleaning and re-shelving of all dirtied volumes, cleaning dirtied furnishings and equipment, and careful scrubbing of the ventilation system.

Since the fire, library staff has facilitated the temporary transfer of selected content from McHenry to the Science & Engineering library, ensuring access for students and faculty to time-sensitive materials.

McHenry will resume normal operating hours on Monday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, please go to:


4/19/10, 10 a.m. McHenry cleanup continues; reopen date undetermined

Campus officials determined Sunday that McHenry Library will remain closed for at least several more days while cleanup and restoration efforts continue. Crews have been working around the clock since Friday.

Nearly half of McHenry's 1.4 million volumes are being cleaned and re-shelved. Many furnishings and other equipment, including some desktop computers, also require cleaning and inspection.

The Science & Engineering Library remains open. Library staff are evaluating options for providing students and others access to selected content, including reserve reading lists and multi-media materials.

Find updates on McHenry's status at:


4/16/10, 4 p.m. Update on McHenry Library Reopening

McHenry Library will remain closed through the weekend while campus officials monitor ongoing cleanup and restoration efforts following Thursday night's fire. The Science & Engineering Library, also closed Saturday, will be open for routine hours on Sunday.

Smoke damage appears to be largely confined to the new wing's second, third, and fourth floors. Roughly half of the library's 1.4 million volumes, some furnishings, and other equipment will require cleaning. The library's special collections are unharmed.

Campus officials will determine over the weekend whether or not the library can be reopened Monday. Please check the library's web site -- -- for updates.


4/16/10, 11:00 a.m. Update from UCSC Fire Department

The fire in McHenry Library last night appears to have been caused by an overheated extension cord. The cord was being used to charge tool batteries by a contractor involved in the renovation project. Several plastic carts and other equipment burned, resulting in heavy smoke.

Fire Department personnel cleared the scene at approximately 2:30 AM.

McHenry Library remains closed today. Please check the check the library's web site at: for current information.


4/16/10, 12:20 a.m. Update from UCSC Public Affairs

A fire, in the original wing of McHenry Library currently being renovated, was extinguished by firefighters late Thursday night. The fire was reported shortly after 9 p.m. and was declared out by 10.

Approximately 100 students, studying in the new wing of the library that opened two years ago, were evacuated as a safety precaution. None of the students was injured.

UCSC fire crews responded to the fire, and crews from the City of Santa Cruz and elsewhere in the county were also called to the scene. Firefighters reported that most of the damage appeared to be confined to construction materials.

The state Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the incident.

The library will be closed on Friday while fire and other campus staff ensure that it is safe to reoccupy. Since the library is closed on Saturdays, it will not reopen until this Sunday at 10 a.m.

For updated information on Friday and Saturday, please check the library's web site at:


4/15/10, 10:15 p.m.

There is currently a fire in McHenry Library in the section which is under construction. The UCSC Fire Department and other fire agencies are on-scene. More information will be posted as it becomes available.