Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What do librarians fear most?

Water! No, we don't melt like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz when you throw water on us, but water and books do not go together very well. Bindings warp, paper expands, and, worst of all, mold grows very well on damp books.

For this reason, we were alarmed to learn late yesterday afternoon that the recent heavy rains had caused our roof to leak in several places. Staff members Carey Heatherly, Amanda Melcher, Joel Bullock, and Charlie Conway immediately started covering the books stacks under the leaks with plastic, and, fortunately, no books were damaged.

David Pritchett, head of the Physical Plant, told me this morning that we're going to be getting a new roof on the library before too long.

What should you do if you have a book that gets wet? If it's a library book, please get it back to us immediately so that we can take appropriate action! If you can't get the book to the library quickly, wrap the book in freezer paper (if possible) and put it in the freezer. Really! This won't "solve" the problem, but it will keep the damage from getting any worse. A frost-free freezer will help the water in the book evaporate over time.

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