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Subject: Avian flu

Avian flu

From: Andrew Hart <ashart<-a>
Date: Monday, March 3, 2008
We are working on the library's part of a campus-wide effort to
develop contingency plans for an avian flu pandemic. I would be very
interested in examples anyone can share of plans or comments and
observations from similar planning efforts. In particular, I'm
wondering if anyone has thought about this from a preservation
perspective? Of course, we'll place the highest priority on safety
for people, not collections.

That said, what are the potential risks to collections? If a
pandemic is severe enough to warrant shutting down the university,
the main preservation goals might be maintaining security, some
level of preparedness for a collections disaster, and environmental
control when facilities staff, the police force, and the fire
department are struggling to function. At an earlier stage or in a
less severe outbreak, how might we be affected?

Has anyone looked into how long the H5N1 virus can live on typical
materials used for book covers? Would there be reason to quarantine
books on loan to or returned from households that have people sick
with the flu? If so, for how long? Will there be calls to disinfect
circulating books? (Remember the way mail was treated during the
anthrax scare a few years ago.) If so, what would be a reasonable

While this may seem like a remote risk I've found it very sobering
and worrisome that our experts in public health and continuity of
operations are taking this very seriously. Anyone unfamiliar with
the avian flu a.k.a. H5N1 virus might be interested in


Andrew Hart
Preservation Librarian
CB#3910, Davis Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Fax: 919-962-4450

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:46
                  Distributed: Thursday, March 6, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-46-027
Received on Monday, 3 March, 2008

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