Gilbert's Southeast Regional Library was closed for the second Sunday in two weeks and reopened Monday without telephone and Internet service due to a transformer explosion in downtown Phoenix.
The outage affects all 15 locations in the Maricopa County Library District system and was expected to continue through today as new transformers are installed.
Library district spokeswoman Audrey Brownell said Monday, "We're hoping maybe something will work out tomorrow, but we don't know anything for sure about our network system yet."
The Southeast Regional Library, 775 N. Greenfield Road, is the largest and busiest in the county network. In the East Valley, the district also has branch libraries at Perry High School in Gilbert and in Queen Creek, Sun Lakes, Guadalupe and Fountain Hills.
"To the public the most significant difference is we can check books out, but we can't check them back in because we can't enter them into the system," library branch manager Andrew Chanse said.
Library employees and the public had no access to the Internet or the online library catalog, forcing everyone to rely on more basic technology, Chanse said.
"We have a pretty good working knowledge of where things are at in the library, and we have the Dewey Decimal Classification down on paper to help people out," he said.
On Monday afternoon it appeared to be pretty much business as usual at the Southeast Regional Library aside from all the deserted computer terminals, including eight right behind the front door.
The libraries' Web site was also offline, and efforts to route the libraries' main phone number, (602) 652-3000, to the North Valley Regional Library in Anthem had not succeeded by late Monday afternoon, though Brownell said they might be working by today.
The transformer explosion occurred Saturday afternoon while electricians were working on one that serves the building at 2700 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix, where the library district is based. One electrician was injured and taken to the hospital, Brownell said.
"That's what feeds all the libraries, so that's why all the computers are down, even though all the libraries are perfectly fine. It's a very odd situation," she said.
The Southeast Regional Library was also closed July 13 and 14 after a malfunctioning sprinkler system soaked the periodicals section.