Cooked Books

Thursday, July 17, 2008 (continued)

This time everything went off as planned and we were in the building shortly after 7PM! The first thing we noticed was how incredibly hot and dry it was – 98.2 degrees with R/H 30%! The air tubes are shut down but they have achieved good air flow with fans. Kristin and I saw no signs of mold. The book moisture content is good, running at 4.4-6.9. I am glad I decided two of us should go. It took one of us holding a flash light (no electricity) while the other took the readings. Most of the Art Library collections is on compact shelving. We kept getting squished as other staff tried to get into other aisles. Ouch!

A side note: At time of construction both Rijn Templeton, Art Librarian, and I asked for mechanical shelving as we didn’t want to be electrical and computer dependent for access. Now with no electricity, I’m very glad the mobile shelving is mechanically operated!

We got into Music, too, but we had to stand outside in the rain and travel to three different entrances before they found a place where we could enter – which took us on a circuitous route from the south side of Clapp all the way around the north side of Hancher then along the river and through the mud to an entrance on the east side. The first two entrances were blocked due to asbestos abatement. Somehow that detailed had not been relayed to the Safety Officers. We were ready to go at 7:30. Many of us were very wet by the time we got in at 8:45.

The Music Library is very hot and dry, too –  Rare bookroom: 90.5; R/H 36%; book moisture content 5.7-6.6; Stacks Temp 92.6 degrees; R/H 26%; book moisture content 4.6-5.8. The air tubes are providing good air circulation. Ruthann checked for roof leaks and was much relieved to find none, stating that ”Good news is that the ceiling was not leaking!  We’ll take small victories where we can find them.” I had forgotten about our roof leak problems. They were able to rescue a couple CPUs and the digitizing station. By the time we got into Music, Kristin and I were completely exhausted and left before the full ½ hour allocation.

I saw no evidence of mold and very little evidence of too much moisture (crinkling of paper). They’ve done a good job of keeping excess moisture out of the libraries. (Both libraries are on the second floor and were sitting over standing water on the first floor.) I’m really concerned about the high temperatures at both libraries. It’s not good for computers, books, or wood. The books most at risk with this high of temperature are the rare books in Music.  Nancy Baker will see if any adjustments can be made.

We drove home through rain and horizontal lightening. My dog, Scamper, was very happy to see me. I gave him some lap time while sipping a glass of red wine and working on a sudoku puzzle.