Putting the Book Freeze Dryer to Work

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We spent the first part of the morning practicing setting the controls and reviewing the maintenance procedures. Then we loaded up the freezer — a much awaited event. Our old freeze dryer had started losing freezer capability a few days ago. The books were still cold but had begun to thaw. We transferred them to our new freezer and turned the old one off. The freezer typically holds 200 books. However, since the art books are oversized, 103 volumes filled the freezer.

The purchase of the new freezer was made using Friends of the Libraries donations. The freezer arrived in the nick of time. The old freezer is beyond repair. The new freezer is allowing us to dry out the books on site, instead of sending them out of state to a commercial freeze dryer. We can inspect each book as it goes into the freezer, perhaps do some minor re-shaping, and pull it out as it dries and make any needed repairs before sending it back to the library. We can work a few through at a time and incorporate the art books into our regular work flow.

We wrapped some of our books before we boxed them up to transfer from the Art Library to the freezer in the Main Library as a precaution in case the inks on the cover bled. You can see that this book transferred some of the ink onto the paper. Without the paper wrap, the ink would have transferred to another book. The ink on the paper doesn’t quite line up with the image on the cover because it got shifted around during inspection before the transfer to the new freezer.