Washing Music Library LPs

Friday, January 23, 2009

Librarian Anne Shelley brought down a box of soon to be digitized LPs with the request that we clean them. We were happy to do so, as it would give us a chance to make sure that our dish drainer could convert itself into an LP drying rack. I set up the sink with two trays, one with water and a bit of photoflo for washing and a second “water only tray” for rinsing. I removed the LPs from their jackets and swabbed the labels to make sure that none would run in the water–only two seemed ready to run. I then quickly dipped the LPs in the wash, brushing them gently with a soft (tsukemawashibake) brush, one that we normally use for paste linings. I then propped them on the drying rack, perfectly sized for an LP, and let them dry for a short period. Next, I brushed them dry with a microfiber brush designed for vinyl records. Each record then got slipped back into its cover, with a new polyethelene sleeve for protection. This should remove any dust and greasy fingerprints from the surface that might otherwise interfere with the digitization.

Moving The Music Library

Monday, January 5, 2009

Since we don’t know how long the music library will be inaccessible or even if the building will remain, the music collection needed to be moved. The Music Library began it’s move to the Main Library today and will probably take two weeks. The preparation for this move actually started in November. In order to make room for the music collection, the Chemistry collection on 2nd floor Main had to be re-located to the Hardin Library for Health Sciences. The circulating music book collection is going into the spot vacated by the Chemistry collection.

The rest of the collection (rare books, recordings, etc) will be taking over the 5th floor study lounge, so it can be locked and monitored. The music library staff will be on the 5th floor with that collection. We will be losing some additional seating in the Main Library an already tight situation.

The bid to move the chemistry collection and the Music Library was awarded to Carney-McNicholas, an Ohio based company. This is the company that moved the Des Moines Central Library and has worked on a number of colleges and universities moves.

Music Rare Book Room Project Continues in the Dark

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It’s business as usual in spite of the challenges. About a year ago, Gary Frost and Linda Lundy started a boxing project for the Music Library rare books. Gary takes the measurements and Linda makes the boxes. In the past, Gary would go over to the rare book room, take the measurements; Linda would make the boxes; then Gary would take the boxes back and the cycle would start all over. Now they have to get permission to get into the library and take lanterns with them since there is no light. Linda finds the books and inserts them into their boxes while Gary takes measurements for the next set of boxes. They are very close to completing this project.

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.

Locked Out!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I packed my shoes, flashlight, and face mask in happy anticipation that we would finally be able to get into the Art and Music libraries. Once at the library I spent a little bit of time with staff. We continue to slowly get the preservation basement area back into some semblance of order. The little dumbwaiter area had been cleaned out but both Deb and I reacted when we got close to the area. We set up a HEPA air cleaner and Deb experienced immediate relief. Then we started to work in the book repair area, opened a cabinet and about passed out from the fumes. OK, so another area missed and one needing a re-do. To be expected.  We discovered a plywood cabinet that needed to be hauled away and discarded. We’re making progress. That’s what counts.

Then off to Oakdale to check on that site. With Caitlin on vacation, Bill is filling in for the week. The carbon filters are definitely helping. The area smells much better. Still would like to get more air circulating. I notice that the air is set to auto and switch it to continuous. The items themselves smell so this might be the best we can do. I checked the storage area and all seems to be ok. No strong smells. But then maybe I’m getting used to it — if that is possible!

I dealt with mostly flood stuff all day; only about an hour on nonflood stuff. We’ve been given the word that staff reviews must be turned in if they were due at the end of June. We had one done, signed but not turned in. Turned it in and discovered that I failed to address a major initiative as a goal and have to revise.

We met friends at George’s to while away the time until I can get into the Art Library at 7PM. While at George’s my daughter called to tell me that our wood conservator is trying to get a hold of me. I called him while waiting to get into the Art Library. He’s exploring some product for sterilization of porous objects. At 7PM, we learn that someone dropped the ball and did not let public safety know that we were to be let into the Art and Music Libraries. We’re locked out. Told in no uncertain terms that we will not be let in. So go home. Public Services is short handed yet they have enough staff to send over two patrol cars to make sure we go home.