May 28, 2022

Massachusetts: Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell “Seriously Damaged When Water Pipe Bursts”

Reports from two sources are linked below. Both provide video.

1. From WHDH in Boston:

Lowell City Manager Kevin Murphy said the pipe broke sometime after the library closed on Saturday, when temperatures dropped below zero. Murphy estimated about 5,000 gallons of water poured into the library from the broken pipe.


Librarians were hard at work on Tuesday, moving books and other media and assessing the damage.


The library will remain closed until they can determine when it can reopen.

Read the Complete Article, View Video

From the Lowell Sun:

So many books and other library resources were lost or damaged that Director Victoria] Woodley can’t yet estimate the totals. But as of Tuesday afternoon, she said the overall extent appeared to be better than she initially feared.


Several local history books, dating back a couple centuries, were drenched in the second-floor reference room. An 1868 book chronicling the “Record of the Massachusetts Volunteers 1861-1865” sat with its cover removed and pages tattered. Volumes detailing the contributions of Massachusetts military members in the Revolutionary and Civil wars were stood upright and fanned open to dry, their pages marked with water stains.

Woodley said these irreplaceable resources will have to be sent out to be professionally cleaned by archivists, which she estimated could cost about $8,000 to $10,000. Many other books that can be replaced will likely be thrown out in order to prevent any mold from spreading, she said.

Read the Complete Article, View Video

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.