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Archive for the ‘Water Leaks’ Category

CPR for wet books

Monday, July 19th, 2010

As our airconditioning systems are cranking away in the summer heat and humidity, creating condensation build-up on some interior pipes and ducts, as the 2010 hurricane season gets into full swing off the southern/southeastern coasts of the continental U.S., and as many parts of the country experience weekly thunderstorms, here’s some helpful information from Heritage Preservation about how to try to save the lives of books that get wet.

The Summer newsletter from Heritage Preservation highlights their “How to Save Wet Books” page, which has short videos and text about how to treat wet books, as well as some very helpful tips at the bottom of the page about how to prioritize and how to stay safe during the process.  Who’d have thought that sometimes part of saving a wet book is to get it even wetter?

Frozen Pipes/Water Leaks

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Most of the United States is experiencing much colder than normal temperatures.  When pipes freeze, water leaks, so make sure you have adequate supplies on hand to deal with a water situation.


Life support for print materials

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

While many/most libraries are decreasing the number of print materials they maintain, news reports indicate that the current economic woes are leading many users back to libraries to borrow books rather than buying books online.  Another effect of the financial crises affecting our institutions is that there is often no funding available to replace damaged or lost print materials. 

Just recently when we met with NN/LM Pacific Northwest staff and their State Coordinators for emergency preparedness, we heard a story of a hospital librarian who had recently reported to her State Coordinator about water damage to a book truck of new books.  This one book truck held her major print purchase for the year, and there would most likely not be money to replace the books that got wet.  Considering all these indicators of the “long tail” of the need for print materials in libraries,  I’ve been reviewing the resources we list to aid in preserving print in the event of water damage, fire, etc.  The right side menu bar here lists many of them and there is a wealth of great information available.

Here is a document I found today from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) that deals specifically with caring for print books.  The brochure is well written, and gives a good overview of information that has been de-emphasized in many libraries these days, but might well come in handy as librarians and volunteers with limited or no training for conservation or preservation try to keep their paper resources alive as long as possible.

Much of the AIC website is intended for professional conservators, but the “Caring for Your Treasures” series of publications contains lots of helpful information for the public, sort of the “Consumer Health” portion of their site.  AIC’s Disaster Response & Recovery page is also worth a look for information on a wide range of types of materials and web sites of interest.

Preparedness pays off: two stories from the news

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Boston University’s online newspaper contains an article today about how the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX weathered Hurricane Ike with flying colors, despite the beating taken by the island as a result of the storm. There is a really interesting account from their associate director of research, who said that “the positive outcome was no stroke of luck, but the result of wise engineering and a comprehensive emergency plan that includes a long-term weather-tracking strategy.” She also noted that “preparedness is attainable, and it works.”

At the University of Hawaii, roof repair work led to some major water leaking into their library. The account in the “Star Bulletin” today underlines how a quick response, based on excellent preparedness activities, can minimize damage and speed recovery. Based on their experiences with major flooding in 2004, the library has a well-developed disaster response team, who was actively watching for damage from the heavy rains, had the needed supplies on hand, knew what to do with wet materials and where to put them, and had a salvage company on site quickly to restore air quality and help with cleanup.

News reports of flooding:



It’s nice to hear that preparedness efforts really do pay off–a huge return on a relatively small investment!