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Brand new national library fails safety inspections

Jan 17, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

The Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service commission has performed a full inspection of the new National Library building, and has established various shortcomings in eight instances.

The Fire and Rescue Service cannot authorize putting the building into service as two out of five emergency exits do not conform with fire safety requirements, the emergency exit staircases have inadequate finishing materials, and the wooden steps also do not meet fire safety requirements, said the service's representative Kristaps Eklons. The Fire and Rescue Service has established eight areas in total that need to be redone for the building to be put into service. Eklons said this could take about two months.

The "Chain of Booklovers" event on Saturday, Jan. 18, during which books will travel from the old library buildings to the new one by being handed from one person to the next, has not been cancelled, but will proceed under the supervision of the Fire and Rescue Service's officers.

Culture Minister Dace Melbarde said in an interview with the LNT television on Jan. 17 that fifteen out of seventeen permissions necessary for opening the new National Library building had been received.

Although construction of the National Library building has been completed, the building has not yet been accepted into service, said Melbarde. This means that the library cannot yet work on a normal schedule.

The National Library's official opening is scheduled for Aug. 29, the day the library will mark its 95th anniversary.

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