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San Francisco Public Library vandalized with ‘foreign objects’ in toilets

The San Francisco Public Library staff categorize and organize books at the Main Branch at 100 Larkin St. in San Francisco on Aug. 26, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

San Francisco Public Library’s toilets have been vandalized, forcing an emergency closure and damaging multiple floors of the facility.

A spokesperson for the library said a plumbing failure affected three levels of the Main Branch.

Foreign objects were dumped into the library’s toilets on the fourth floor Friday, affecting the library on Saturday.

“The issue was caused by an individual flushing foreign objects into a toilet, which resulted in an overflow,” the spokesperson said. “Fortunately, our facilities crew, with support from public works, was quick to respond and remediated the issue, which allowed us to reopen at noon on Saturday, [after] only a two-hour delay.”

The overflow occurred on the third floor and caused damage to all of the floors below, the former employee said. 

Urban Alchemy workers monitor San Francisco Public Library's Main Branch on Aug. 26, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

The library and Department of Public Works don’t yet know the costs associated with the toilet emergencies. Public Works was contacted for clarification on what the objects were and more information.

The library has had three prior incidents of foreign object vandalism into the toilets—in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

And it’s not the first time Downtown San Francisco has had toilet trouble, in November last year, a Whole Foods store off Market Street locked down its restrooms after syringes and drug pipes were found inside.

And a luxury apartment building saw more than just its toilet overflow when its infrastructure was allegedly vandalized by a resident in October 2021.