A section of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, the Montreal public library and national archives, was evacuated last week, before a section of the building’s ceiling collapsed just after noon on April 26. No employees or patrons were injured in the accident.
The News and New Releases section, which was part of a recent ground-floor renovation, was affected, though media relations officer Claire-Hélène Lengellé says no other part of the recently improved area is at risk. Library staff noticed the ceiling cracking just prior to the incident and were able to clear the area.
“BAnQ is conducting a survey of the causes and damages,” Lengellé says. “Inspection of the other ceilings has not revealed any sign of structural weakness and has confirmed that the collapsed section was the only structure of its type within the building. There is no reason for the public to be concerned that this could happen anywhere else in the library.”
The building’s overall structure and heritage collections remain intact. BanQ is currently assessing the extent of the damage and what repairs are necessary, but remains fully open for its regular hours, aside from a “small area” of the affected section.