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Dead battery and Warped 78s

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our garbage disposal died just after Cedar Rapids flooded. I finally got organized enough to schedule a plumber. I spent the morning organizing my “flood” files. At 10:30, I headed out for my meeting with David to review flood recovery efforts only to discover that the pickup battery was dead. David graciously offered to come to my house. He has most of the cost estimates for the library. I believe he has a great strategy in mind for handling library book replacement. He plans to bring a collection development consultant in. Just as well take “advantage” of the situation and create a more defined, better developed collection as books are being replaced. We’re assuming that he’ll want to replace as many books as possible rather than fix the books, given the dirty, messy condition they were in when placed in the freezer truck. I gave him the good news that we were able to clean every single LP and its cover. We haven’t tried to play any of the LPs yet. Until we actually play an LP we won’t know whether we were successful or not. The album covers are a mess – crinkly and stained – but legible. He’ll start looking for replacements after we’ve finished cross checking against his inventory.

I had to give him the bad news that the few 78s we sampled on Thursday were warped. Before the flood he had only a few warped 78s. I’m hoping against hope the sampling included those few and that we don’t have a huge warping problem. We won’t know until we actually get into the collection. These will be harder to replace. In hind sight, maybe we should have worked on the 78s first. Our priority setting made sense at the time. David solved one mystery for us. We couldn’t figure out why we ended up with two thick plates of glass. He had planned on experimenting with flattening out the warped 78s by sandwiching in between two pieces of glass and baking at low heat.

I met with a Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter, Alicia Ebaugh, in the afternoon. The rain had stopped so we were able to sit out on the deck. She’s very interested in the recovery process – all the stages. She totally gets it that it will be a long, lengthy process, very time consuming, with no text book answers.

Nancy Baker called with the news that our request to get temperature lowered in the Art and Music libraries is being taken seriously. They have asked for suggested temperature and relative humidity parameters.