Moving Back

Monday, July 7, 2008

After three days of guests and almost no flood related activities, it was very hard to get mentally back to work. My host, Engineer Librarian John Forys, gave me a tip on where to find great coffee — The T-spoons. Fortified, I tackled my close to 700 emails, hoping to get part of my work life back in order. At 9:58 AM we received word that we could begin moving back to the Main Library at 1PM. The move back will be spread out over 3-4 days. I wKaren At Fenceas part of the first wave along with Conservation, Reformatting, Circulation, Media Services, InfoArcade, Administration office, PR, LIT Technical Support, Special Collections staff and a few students in these units.March of the Penguins

We moved back while the barriers were still up. Our north entrance is still closed and will be closed for a while as the buildings to our immediate north are still being remediated. We had to enter by the south entrance and be checked in – no gate crashers allowed. It was very exciting. I felt a little bit like the March of the Penguins.

After moving back – which involved docking my laptop and turning it on – I listened to my 10 phone messages. Oops! I neglected to deal with my office phone while vacated from the Main Library. Then I headed out to our Oakdale site to see if we can improve the environment. I was greeted with a totally amazing sight of 10s of LPs and covers hanging to dry.Czech LPs Caitlin and Elizabeth are doing a great job of working through the Czech Slovak LP collection.

Still no solution for an improved environment. We decided to investigate upgradingStarbrite the air conditioner filtering system with a HEPA filter, charcoal filter and pre-filter and setting up a small air scrubber. In the meantime I set out Starbrite anti odor/mold units. We’ll see if they reduce the smell.

Although I don’t feel stressed, I must be. I continue to be forgetful. I almost forgot to take the Starbrites with me and had to go back and get them. Then when I went to pick up my spouse after work, I took the wrong street and got lost.

Drying Out LP’s

Thursday, July 3, 2008

As we are taking out the LPs from their disgusting boxes, the covers and the records themselves are still wet. And caked with mud. And they need to be dried–preferably with some semblance of the order they are in. Luckily, Tim Barrett has allowed us to take over the Paper Lab at the Oakdale campus, which means we get to use this ingenious drying rack for our own means. This rack was constructed based on European versions of paper racks–Tim told us who made it for the lab, but now I forget. It is suspended from the ceiling with enough room to walk under, and the little green specks in the picture are marbles (one is a cats eye).

The marbles are set within an angled groove–does that make sense?-so that the marble holds up the paper without putting undue pressure on the sheet. It works wonderfully for the covers, which are then pressed flat. The LPs themselves are hung from the marbles, too, without mishap.

Mass Drying

Monday, July 7, 2008

We try to utilize the entire drying rack daily. The records are hung staggered with the covers, which allows air to pass around them all. We set up a few fans around the room, not directly on the rack, as it caused some of the covers to fall, but just to move the air. It is hot and muggy outside, but we have air conditioning in the room, which also helps with drying–and makes it more comfortable in the respirators. About one length of the rack can hold twenty records, and there are usually around 55 records in a box. This means we can finish four boxes in a day. The next morning, we come and take it all down, in order, and start again.