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Van Pelt Library has been closed since April 17 due to flooding and a power outage. Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Van Pelt Library will remain closed for a fourth day on Thursday as the building continues to recover from flooding and a power outage. 

The library first closed on Monday due to a "serious" failure of a chilled water pump that flooded the library's basement mechanical room in the morning, Executive Director of Operations & Maintenance Faramarz Vakili wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian on Tuesday. The presence of water damaged some of the electrical gear that Van Pelt and two other buildings use for electricity, causing a power outage, Vakili added.

Penn Libraries wrote in a service alert on its website that no staff areas, public spaces, or library collections in Van Pelt were affected by the flooding. Facilities and Real Estate Services is responding in order to pump out all the water and fix the equipment that was damaged, which may cause "[i]ntermittent localized power outages." 

Jaffe History of Art Building was one of the two buildings near Van Pelt that lost power, according to an email sent to students that have class there.

Vakili wrote that a timeline is still up in the air for when Van Pelt will re-open.

"We are hopeful to bring electricity back to the building soon, but this is complicated restoration job and we do not have a definite time table at this point," Vakili wrote. 

In the latest service alert, Penn Libraries wrote that it had extended return due dates for books to April 24, and the library will forgive any fines that loaners of equipment have accrued since they are currently unable to return the items. It also said that the remote computer lab, which has a connection to physical machines in Van Pelt, is not available for use, and no new electronic course reserves can be created.

With finals approaching, the ongoing four-day closure of Penn's primary library has changed the studying habits of students. 

College first-year Terrance Ji said that he studies at Van Pelt nearly every night to get his work done "in a corner on the ground floor facing a wall." He also said that Mark’s Café, in the library's basement, is convenient for late-night studiers to get snacks. 

"It's very sad that Van Pelt is now unavailable," Ji said. 

The closure is also affecting College sophomore Anagha Gouru, who said she studied at Van Pelt around four times a week.

"[T]he closure has definitely impacted my studying, as the other libraries I go to are now very crowded," Gouru said. "It definitely is a bit inconvenient, but I have found ways to adjust to it.”