University of Tartu to extend stopgap services until main library reopens in December
Construction company YIT is months behind schedule on the renovation of the University of Tartu Library, and based on current estimates, the library will reopen to readers by mid-December at the earliest. According to the construction firm, the delays have been caused by a number of hidden flaws which were only revealed in the course of renovation work.
A partially-renovated University of Tartu Library (TÜR) was originally slated to open its doors to readers at the beginning of October, reported ETV's nightly news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera."
"It became apparent that the builders will not possibly finish their dusty and noisy work by the end of September, which means that we cannot restart the ventilation system and therefore cannot allow the public into the building," explained TÜR Director Martin Hallik.
YIT, the construction company working on the library, told "Aktuaalne kaamera" that a number of hidden flaws have been uncovered in the course of renovation work which had been unknown to both the customer and the supplier at the time of the construction procurement. For example, in the planning of utility lines, surrounding utility lines which have been under reconstruction for some time already were not taken into account. Another unexpected discovery was likewise the fact that part of the pipework had not been replaced during previous renovations.
In efforts to alleviate the situation, the university library plans on extending the hours of and offering more services than usual at its specialty branches. The library is also seeking outside reading rooms in which university students can continue studying in a peaceful environment, and public collection books can continue to be loaned out, although access to them remains cumbersome currently.
"I was planning on loaning a book just today, but it won't be possible," said Tartu Healthcare College student Sandra Pallo. "I had to order it in advance. It will arrive tomorrow, but I need it today already. I need to figure out some other way to get ahold of it."
The university library will offer its readers free interlibrary loan services for the loaning of its books that are currently in storage and inaccessible. This will mean significant additional costs for the library, however.
"Of course in addition to moral losses, which will be carried by both our readers and ourselves, we will incur financial losses as well, but their calculation will apparently be a future subject," said Hallik. "They will certainly be considerable."
According to updated plans, the University of Tartu Library is scheduled to reopen on Dec. 12. The total cost of renovation is 6.7 million euros.