Work on the library's central elevator continues | Credit: Don Brubaker

Santa Barbara Central Library will remain closed at least another week due to continuing construction-related impacts to air quality, city officials said on Monday.

Last Thursday, Santa Barbara City spokesperson Shelly Cone announced the library would be closed at least until January 31 “out of an abundance of caution” after recent construction “impacted air quality” and forced the building’s closure to ensure the health and safety of patrons and staff. The day before the library was expected to reopen, however, Cone announced that the building now won’t be open until at least Tuesday, February 7.

In Monday’s statement, Cone elaborated that on Wednesday, January 25, the library experienced “a critical failure of the dust mitigation plan for the elevator work in progress in the center of Central Library….” The elevator construction work is part of a three-phase renovation that began last summer, during which much of the library’s main area was closed due to an excavation. Parts of the main lobby and the downstairs Children’s Library were reopened to the public in the fall, and the upper level of the library had just reopened to the public last Tuesday before the whole library was forced to close.

“While the air quality is being monitored and construction plans are being assessed,” Cone said, the “Central Library will remain closed.”

Cardholders who placed materials on hold for pickup will be given an extension through the closure. To replace the regular scheduled Music and Movement class at the Central Library, an additional class will be added to the Eastside Library’s schedule on Wednesday, February 1, at 10:15 a.m. 

While the Faulkner Gallery is connected to a separate HVAC system, and “room rental events scheduled are not impacted by the closure,” Cone said, the gallery will be closed for art viewing during the testing “outside of reserved times.”

Although staff will be unavailable to answer the library’s main phone line, patrons can still use the library website’s live chat during business hours, text (805) 273-8916, or call the Eastside Library at (805) 963-3727. 

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