Illinois State University Libraries Disaster Plan
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Emergency Telephone Numbers 3
Disaster Prevention 5
The Disaster Plan 5
Milner Library Disaster Recovery Team 6
Crew Captains 6
Administrative Office 7
Newspaper, Television, Radio 7
On-Campus Location of Emergency Equipment and Supplies 8
Off-Campus Sources of Equipment and Supplies 10
Disaster Recovery 12
Assess the damage 12
Stabilize the environment 12
Activate the in-house disaster team 13
Restore the area 13
Salvage Procedures 14
Salvage Priorities 15
Water Damaged Books 16
Slightly Damp Volumes 16
Damp Volumes 16
Wet Volumes 17
Saturated Volumes 17
Special Considerations for Water Damaged Books 18
Volumes with Coated Stock Paper 18
Muddy Volumes 18
Moldy Volumes 18
Priorities for Freezing 19
Instructions for Freezing 19
Record Keeping 20
Vacuum Freeze Drying 21
Vacuum Drying 22
Documents / Unbound Paper Materials 22
Separation of Wet Sheets 22
Thymol Treatment 23
Fire Damaged Materials 24
Binding Fire Damaged Books 24
Smoke and Soot Removal 24
Non-book Materials 26
Photographic Materials 26
Immediate Air-Drying 26
Films on Reels 27
Motion Picture Film 27
Color Prints, Negatives, Slides, Transparencies 28
Freezing Photographic Materials 28
Sound Recordings 28
Magnetic Media 29
Floppy Disks 29
Compact Disks 30
Bibliographic Control for Emergencies 30
Destroyed Materials 30
Frozen of Freeze Dried Materials 30
Salvaged Materials 31
A--Salvage Priorities 32
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS
For fire or life threatening emergency 911
Physical Plant (8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday) 8-2036
Heating Plant (All other times) 8-5656
Cheryl Elzy (work) 8-3465
(answering machine) 309-365-XXXX
Another administrator (see below)
After emergency personnel are contacted, call Disaster Team Leader and
at least one additional member of the Disaster Team. Team members will
complete the calling chain.
Beth Schobernd (Disaster Team Leader) (w) 8-3670 (h) 454-XXXX
Dianne DeLong (w) 8-5879 (h) 452-XXXX
Amy DeFries (w) 8-3440 (h) 827-XXXX
Van Schwartz (w) 8-3486 (h) 454-XXXX
Garold Cole (w) 8-3484 (h) 452-XXXX
Connie Bass (w) 8-3452 (h) 454-XXXX
Sue Beedle (w) 8-7443 (h) 452-XXXX
Susan Mearida (w) 8-2866 (h) 217-935-XXXX
Sharon Hartzell (w) 8-7442 (h) 827-XXXX
Steve Meckstroth (w) 8-5468 (h) 828-XXXX
To be called by Disaster Team Leader as necessary
Division Contact - For affected area or floor
ACM - Doug DeLong (w) 8-3450 (h) 452-XXXX
CRM/Coll Dev - Cecile Jagodzinski (w) 8-7463 (h) 454-XXXX
Circ - Joan Winters (w) 8-5598 (h) 1-473-XXXX
Fl 1 - Bill Moonan (w) 8-3441 (h) 454-XXXX
GRD - Barbara Alexander (w) 8-7044 (h) 828-XXXX
Fl 4 - Garold Cole (w) 8-3484 (h) 452-XXXX
Fl 5 - Pat Dolan (w) 8-2832 (h) 828-XXXX
Fl 6/Special Collections - Steve Meckstroth
(w) 8-5468 (h) 828-XXXX
Archives - Jo Ann Rayfield (w) 8-8062 (h) 452-XXXX
Systems - David Greenfield (w) 8-3820 (h) 662-XXXX
Duplicating/Copiers - Larry Mays (w) 8-3469 (h) 827-XXXX
Carroll Varner (w) 8-3480 (h) 888-XXXX
Alan Nourie (w) 8-3481 (h) 827-XXXX
Fred Peterson (w) 8-3481 (h) 1-378-XXXX
Other Numbers which may be needed
Physical Plant 8-2036
(for electricity*, water, heat, air conditioning, plumber,
electrician, carpenter, exterminator, janitorial service)
I.S.U. Safety Office (for chemist and mycologist) 8-8325
Steve Eddington or Jim Morrison
I.S.U. Health Services 8-8655
Security, University police (non-emergency) 8-8631
Central Stores, Edward Ulbrich, GFS 130, FREEZER 8-7638
Edward Ulbrich (h) 452-XXXX
Central Receiving Supervisor, Larry Starkey, GFS 8-8011
Larry Starkey (h) 829-XXXX
I.S.U. Photographic Services 8-8361
University Galleries, Lisa Erf (w) 8-5487 (h) 827-XXXX
Barry Blinderman (w) 8-5487 (h) 827-XXXX
*There is no natural gas in Milner Library
Blackmon-Mooring-Steamatic Catastrophe (800) 433-2940
(BMS CAT - will consult with Bloomington Normal Steamatic or other
cleaning service. Scott Bavier, contact)
Bloomington Normal Steamatic (Bill Owens, contact)
Midwest Freeze Drying (708) 679-4756
UMI, Ann Arbor (microfilm salvage) (800) 521-0600
Bob Mottice, Ext. 619
Eastman Technical Information (800) 242-2424
(for photographic materials information)
Bill Henderson, U of I Preservation Librarian
(w) (217) 333-0757 (h) (217) 367-XXXX
Disaster Team Alternates
Candy Arthur (for Susie Mearida) (w) 8-7461 (h) 828-XXXX
Marie Bobrosky (for Amy DeFries) (w) 8-3440 (h) 452-XXXX
Andre Cadieux (for Steve Meckstroth) (w) 8-5450 (h) 452-XXXX
Doug DeLong (for Sharon Hartzell) (w) 8-3450 (h) 452-XXXX
Marilyn Edwards (for Beth Schobernd) (w) 8-5941 (h) 452-XXXX
Joann Goetzinger (for Sue Beedle) (w) 8-7441 (s) 452-XXXX
Cecile Jagodzinski (for Dianne DeLong) (w) 8-7463 (h) 454-XXXX
Pat Werdell (for Connie Bass) (w) 8-7454 (h) 828-XXXX
Natural disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes cannot be
prevented; however, the severity of their effects can be lessened by
preparing for recovery from them. Man-made disasters often can be
prevented. Routine inspections of a facility should be conducted to see
that conditions which invite disaster do not exist.
Leaky pipes, frayed electrical wires, un\tended machinery, open windows
and structural damage can result in unnecessary destruction of materials
and possible loss of life. Machinery should be unplugged when not in
sue. Aisles and work areas should be kept free of unprocessed materials
and trash. Cleaning and spraying for insects and rodents should be
performed on a regular basis.
Temperature and humidity should be maintained at a constant 68 degrees
and 50% humidity. Materials should be properly stored and protected
from dirt, dust and light. Ultra-violet filters should be placed over
fluorescent lights and on windows. Rules regarding food, beverages,
smoking and unauthorized access should be established and enforced.
Security checks should be made at closing time to ensure all exits and
windows are locked, all equipment has been turned off or unplugged, all
lights and water faucets are off, no cigarettes are smoldering in
ashtrays or wastebaskets, and no unauthorized personnel are in the
Staff members should be familiar with the layout of the building and of
possible danger areas. They should know the location of all fire
extinguishers and alarms and how to operate them. Fire exits and
alternate escape routes should be clearly marked. Evacuation procedures
should be established and practiced regularly.
THE DISASTER PLAN
Disasters can happen to any library. Knowing what to do and what not to
do before, during and after a disaster will prevent panic, lessen the
severity of damage, and enable the library to implement an organized
recovery operation after the dust settles, the smoke dissipates or the
The Milner Library Disaster Preparedness Plan is designed to provide the
organization of salvage operations in the event of an emergency.
Techniques and procedures for the recovery of various types of library
materials are detailed in the following sections, along with the names
and telephone numbers of individuals crucial to the recovery effort.
Supplies and equipment necessary for library disaster recovery are
listed, as well as their locations on or off campus. Two copies of the
disaster plan are provided to each member of the recovery team. One copy
is also provided to each division in the library, to each administrator
and to ISU Offices of Physical Plant, Police, and Health and Safety.
The disaster plan is reviewed annually, with updates to telephone and
supply lists made as needed throughout the year.
All staff members should read and have access to the disaster plan. The
Emergency Telephone Numbers page should be posted near a phone in each
division. Training in recovery techniques is available to all staff
members and mandatory for those individuals serving on the recovery
All sources of supplies and services should be contacted in advance to
explain the library's needs and purpose. Sources should then be
contacted annually to determine whether those supplies and services are
still available, to remind the suppliers of their commitment and to
confirm the name of contact persons. Keep in mind that in a wide-spread
disaster, the sources contacted may not be available because they have
their own damage or are assisting someone else. Outside help may not be
available so it is recommended that recovery materials be kept on site
MILNER LIBRARY DISASTER RECOVERY TEAM
The members of the Preservation Committee comprise the in-house disaster
recovery team. Each member of the Committee should choose an alternate
to assist with recovery in his/her absence. Each member of the recovery
team should have two copies of the disaster plan -- one at work and one
at home -- and be sure that replacement pages are inserted in both
copies as they become available.
The Preservation Supervisor serves as the disaster recovery team leader.
In the absence of the Preservation Supervisor, the next most-experienced
member of the recovery team serves as leader.
The disaster recovery team leader is responsible for: overall management
of the salvage operation; coordination with the administrative office
for wages, supplies, transportation and services; appointment and
training of crew captains; assessment of damage and design of recovery
Disaster operations should not begin until the team leader is present
and has designated the plan of operation.
Crew captains are appointed from the remaining members of the recovery
team. They are trained in their respective duties by the team leader,
and in turn, train those crews assembled to work with them. The
responsibilities of the crew captains and their crews are as follows.
Work crew captain: assemble and coordinate work crews, control work and
Work crews: provide personnel to carry out recovery plan designated by
team leader. This may included removal of damaged materials from the
disaster site; arrangement for air drying; interleaving; wrapping,
record keeping and crating for freezing; cleaning dried materials; and
Bibliographic control crew captain: inventory and record destroyed and
damaged materials; arrange for photographing of damage and recovery.
Bibliographic control crew: record all items lost or damaged in a
disaster. Separate lists should be created for destroyed materials,
materials to be repaired in-house, materials sent off- site for
freezing, and those to be sent to the commercial bindery.
Supplies crew captain: assemble and distribute necessary supplies and
equipment; arrange for replenishment of supplies as needed; arrange for
food for work crews.
Supplies crew: distribute needed supplies and equipment to various work
sites; monitor supply quantities at work sites and replenish when
The administrative office will secure budget allocations for wages,
supplies, transportation and services and will serve as liaison with
Physical Plant during the recovery. One administrator should be
designated to work with the disaster team to guarantee clear and
consistent communication. All contact with the media concerning the
disaster will be handled by the administrative office. In the event of
library closure or change in work schedules, the administrative office
should notify library personnel through local media.
The Pantagraph 829-9411 WBNQ 829-1221
Television WIHN 438-4496
WEEK (25) 663-2525 WJBC 829-1221
WHOI (19) 663-1919 WRXZ 663-1041
WMBD (31) 827-3791 WWCT 663-0106
WYZZ (43) 662-4373
TV 10 News 438-5481
ON-CAMPUS LOCATIONS OF EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
Batteries (flashlight) Conservation Lab refrigerator
Boxes (flat) CRM under stairs
Bricks Conservation Lab
Brooms Physical Plant
Buckets Conservation Lab, Physical Plant
Chemical sponges Conservation Lab
Crates Beth's carrel
Dehumidifiers Special Collections
Disaster supply kit Conservation Lab
Drying racks CRM under stairs
Drying space Physical Plant, Milner Library
Rm. 185 and 186
Extension cords Conservation Lab, Physical Plant
Fans Available throughout Library
Start in CRM
First aid kits Health Services
Flashlights Conservation Lab
Fork lift Physical Plant
Freezer facilities John Green Food Service
Freezer paper Conservation Lab
Fungicides Physical Plant
Generators, portable Physical Plant
Hair Dryer Conservation Lab
Ladders Special Collections,
Floor 3 Janitor's closet,
Floor 5, 513 or vicinity
Floor 1, near A call #s
Library trucks CRM or Circ. (N.E.corner of Floor 2)
Masks Conservation Lab, Physical Plant
Mops Physical Plant, and possibly 3rd floor
Name Tags Conservation Lab
Nylon filament(fishing line) Conservation Lab
Pallets I.S.U. Central Stores
Paper towels Conservation Lab
(extra case stored in Receiving, east wall)
Plastic clothes pins Conservation Lab
Plastic sheeting Conservation Lab, Physical Plant
Plastic trash bags Conservation Lab, Physical Plant
Press boards Conservation Lab
Refrigerator trucks Physical Plant
Rubber gloves Conservation Lab, Physical Plant
Scales Receiving, Rm. 163
Sling Psychrometer Conservation Lab
Sponges Physical Plant
Sump pump Physical Plant
Thermometers Conservation Lab
Thymol chamber Room 185
Thymol crystals Conservation Lab
Transistor radio Conservation Lab
Unprinted newsprint Conservation Lab
Water hoses Physical Plant
Wet-dry vacuum Physical Plant
OFF-CAMPUS SOURCES OF EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
Boxes Alamo II (452-7400)
U-Haul (Steve) (829-3337)
Chemical Sponges Don Smith Paint (827-8541)
Glidden Paint (827-8663)
Dehumidifiers Weaver's Rental (452-7368)
Fans Weaver's Rental (452-7368)
Freezer facilities Capodice (828-5088)
Freezer paper (24 hr. delay) Koldaire (829-7522)
Nylon monofilament (fishing line, 12 lb.) Target (454-5648)
Pallets Capodice (828-5088)
Paper towels Koldaire (829-7522)
Plastic milk crates Plasti-Pak, Champaign
Plastic clothes pins Target (454-5648)
Plastic sheeting Furrow's (828-0074)
Temperature/humidity gauges Doug DeLong (8-3450)
Unprinted newsprint Pantagraph (829-9411)
If a disaster strikes when the building is occupied, the first concern
should be for the safety of the individuals inside. Escape routes,
alternate routes. and procedures for evacuating the building should be
clear to all personnel and visitors. Practice drills should be conducted
on a regular basis to eliminate panic during "the real thing." Drills
should be timed. Individuals should be assigned the task of determining
whether the building has been completely evacuated.
Most disasters tend to occur when the building is unoccupied, during the
early morning hours, on weekends, or during holiday closings. In the
event of a major disaster, do not enter the building until it has been
declared safe to do so by the Fire Marshal or by Civil Defense
Ninety-five percent of all disasters will result in water-damaged
materials. Keep in mind that in a warm humid environment, mold will
develop within forty-eight to seventy-two hours. You must work quickly
to salvage damaged materials and to prevent additional damage from
The following steps are recommended for an effective recovery operation:
Assess the damage
How much damage has occurred? What kind of damage is it (fire, smoke,
soot, chemical, clean water, dirty water, heat, humidity)? Is it
confined to one area or is the entire building damaged? How much of
the collection has been affected (estimate the number of volumes)? What
types of materials have been damaged (books, documents, microforms,
photographs, computer tapes)? Are the damaged items easily replaced or
are they irreplaceable? Can they be salvaged by the in-house recovery
team, or will outside help be required?
Walk through the entire area and take extensive notes (use a pencil, as
ink will run!). Photographs should be taken to document the damages.
Contacts should be made at this time with the sources of supplies and
Stabilize the environment
The environment must be stabilized to prevent the growth of mold. Ideal
conditions for a recovery operation are 65 degrees and 50% humidity. The
following equipment should be readily accessible to help stabilize the
1. Portable generators, in case a power failure occurs. (Physical Plant)
2. Pumps, to remove large quantities of standing water. (Physical Plant)
3. Fans, to circulate the air. (CRM)
4. Thermometers, hygrometers, hygrothermographs and/or sling
psychrometers, to measure the temperature and humidity. (Conservation
5. Dehumidifiers can help to lower the humidity, although they usually
are only effective in small enclosed areas, and tend to increase the
temperature in a room. (Special Collections) They can also freeze up in
the lower temperatures required for salvage and recovery operations.
Raising the temperature will not lower the humidity--it will only
accelerate mold growth. Temperature and humidity should be monitored
The air should be circulated in the damaged area. This may be
accomplished by running fans constantly. If possible, they should expel
the humid air from the area. Any standing water should be pumped from
the area. Extreme caution must be taken, as standing water can conceal
Activate the in-house disaster recovery team
Appoint crew captains and organize work crews. Be sure their
responsibilities are clearly defined. Disaster recovery team members
and other library staff should wear nametags during recovery work.
Disaster and recovery area should be inaccessible to the public. No
salvage activity should begin until a plan of action has been determined
by the team leader.
Frequent rest breaks should be provided for workers. Food and/or
beverages should be available. Arrangements for these will be made by
supplies crew captain.
Restore the area
After the damaged items have been removed and the environment has been
stabilized, the area must be thoroughly cleaned. Walls, floors,
ceilings, and all furniture and equipment must be scrubbed with soap and
water and a fungicide. Carpeting, and specially the padding under it,
should be carefully examined, as mold will develop rapidly. Removal of
smoke odor and fogging with fungicides or insecticides should be
performed only by professionals.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES
enter an area until it has been declared safe.
attempt to open a wet book (one tear costs at least one dollar to
attempt to close an open book that is swollen.
use mechanical presses on wet materials.
attempt to separate books that are stuck together.
use bleaches, detergents, water-soluble fungicides, adhesive tapes
(or adhesives of any kind), paper clips, or staples on wet
use colored paper of any kind during salvage and recovery
pack newly-dried materials in boxes or leave them unattended for
more than two days.
place saturated materials next to lightly damaged materials.
remove covers from books or scores.
Preliminary Control Procedures
1. Follow procedures on the Emergency Telephone Numbers list.
2. Get people out of the area.
3. Take steps to shut off water if possible.
4. Protect endangered areas with plastic sheeting or other
5. Catch dripping water in buckets, waste baskets, etc.
6. Monitor area for water dripping from new areas. Also check
floors above and below and adjoining areas if accessible.
7. Take necessary steps to stabilize the environment. Air should
be circulating; ideal temperature and humidity are 65 degrees F
and 50% RH.
Salvage priorities for each division are listed in Appendix A.
Priorities should be based on criteria such as the following:
Can the item be replaced? At what cost? Would the cost of the
item be more or less than restoration? How important is the item to the
collection? Is the item available at another library?
Perhaps highest priorities would be bibliographic controls, such as
card catalogs, shelf list, and computers and special collections.
Division Heads are asked to review priorities every two years, or
at times of changes in the collection such as shelving shifts.
WATER DAMAGED BOOKS
Ninety-five percent of all disaster damage will be as the result of
water. In most instances of water damage, the first decision to be made
will be whether to air dry or freeze materials. The following section
gives criteria for decision making as well as the instructions for
carrying out the drying and freezing of books.
SLIGHTLY DAMP VOLUMES
These materials have only wet edges; do not need interleaving to soak up
excess water; can be air dried.
1. Cover drying surface with plain newsprint. Newsprint should be
changed as it becomes damp, and the wet paper removed from the drying
2. Stand volume on its head and fan open slightly. Paperbacks and
other books which will not stand on their own may be braced with wooden
press boards or styrofoam pieces. Position volumes in path of
circulating air, but do not blow fan directly on wet paper as this will
cause pages to wrinkle.
3. When almost dry, lay the volumes flat and place weights (not
other drying books) on them to minimize distortion. Press boards
and bricks from Conservation Lab can be used for this. Do not
stack wet volumes. Do not use mechanical presses.
4. Lightweight volumes may be hung on drying racks or other
lines to dry. This works best with single-signature, pamphlet
size material. For drying lines, use monofilament nylon, not
more that 1/32" diameter and not more than 5-6 feet long, space
at least 1/2" apart.
These materials are wet beyond the edges, but not soaked through;
may require some interleaving; can be air dried.
Interleaving is used to soak up excess moisture in books to speed
air drying process. Use only white paper towels, plain newsprint
or polyester web when interleaving.
1. Begin in front and work toward center, placing interleaving
sheets each 50 pages (25 leaves) in such a way that the book can
stand upright on its head when done. Do not open book at more
than 30 degree angle. Repeat working from back to center.
2. Change interleaving frequently, placing new sheets at
different places from the last, and in such a way that book can
be turned to stand on opposite end with each change.
3. Do not reuse sheets unless they have been impregnated with
fungicide. Ortho-Phenyl Phenol (O-PP) has been found to be less
toxic than thymol for this purpose and is recommended. Health
and Safety should be consulted before using O-PP. Mix one pound
of O-PP to one gallon of acetone or ethanol. Do not use
methanol, as it will cause inks to bleed. Safety equipment --
mask, eye goggles and rubber gloves -- should be worn when
preparing and using this solution.
4. When interleaving sheets no longer come out wet, continue air
drying as for slightly damp volumes.
These materials are wet to some degree throughout, but not
saturated and dripping; can be air dried immediately or frozen
for later air drying; will require interleaving.
1. If the quantity of damaged materials to be handled is too
great to allow immediate individual treatment for each wet
volume, they should be frozen until time allows such treatment.
See directions for freezing.
2. When materials can be air dried, interleave as for damp
volumes. Care should be taken when interleaving to avoid tearing
wet pages. The procedure will be much the same for interleaving
and air drying damp volumes -- it will just take longer. Be on
the alert for mold.
These are materials which have been soaked through. They may
have been submerged in water or standing beneath running water.
They will require intense individual attention to air dry. If
time does not allow this attention, freeze for later treatment.
If large quantities are saturated, freeze drying may be the best
1. Cover drying surface with plastic sheeting then absorbent paper.
Paper should be changed as it becomes wet and removed from drying area
to prevent increase in humidity.
2. Do not open saturated volumes -- wet paper tears easily!
3. Stand volumes on their heads (upside down) on absorbent paper, and
let water drain from books. This position counteracts the pages'
natural tendency to "droop" between the covers. When changing the paper
beneath books, reverse the standing position each time.
4. Covers may be opened slightly to support the volume.
5. Aluminum foil may be placed between the cover and endsheet to
prevent staining from binding dyes.
6. When most of the water has drained off, proceed as for wet volumes.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR WATER DAMAGED BOOKS
VOLUMES WITH COATED STOCK PAPER
Wet coated stock paper (slick) should be handled with care. Print will
slide off the wet page if it is rubbed. Do not allow wet books with
coated stock paper to dry in a closed state as the pages will
permanently bond together. Keep volumes submerged until pages can be
separated. The only chance of saving such materials is to interleave
every page and air dry. Almost all attempts to separate dried pages by
rewetting them have failed; vacuum freeze drying of coated stock volumes
is rarely successful. If the value of the item warrants, separation of
wet sheets as described for Documents/Unbound Materials (page 21) may
Remove muddy volumes from recovery area, preferably outside. Keep book
closed tightly and hold it under cold, clean running water, letting the
running water clean off the dirt. Remove as much mud as possible from
the binding by dabbing gently with a sponge. Do not rub or use brushes,
and do not sponge the pages or their edges, as these actions can force
mud into the binding or paper and cause further damage. Squeeze the
book gently and with even pressure to remove excess water and to reshape
binding. Freeze or air dry according to degree of wetness. Do not
wash: open or swollen volumes; vellum or parchment bindings or paper;
full or partial leather volumes; fragile or brittle books; books with
water soluble components (inks, tempera, water colors, dyes, charcoal,
etc.); works of art on paper; manuscripts.
Mold and mildew can develop within 48 to 72 hours in an
environment where the temperature is over 75 degrees and the
humidity is over 60%. Mold and mildew can never be killed and
can remain dormant for many years. Spores are always present and
will grow if the environment is warm and humid. The best
treatment for mold is prevention through environmental control.
Materials which have begun to mold should be separated from other
materials to prevent spreading. Thymol treatment for mold should
be undertaken only under the supervision of Health and Safety.
If mold treatment can not begin immediately, the moldy volumes
can be frozen to inhibit further growth. If weather permits,
moldy volumes may also be set in the sun to dry, but will still
need to be treated. See Thymol Treatment for complete
Freezing wet materials will stabilize them and provide time to determine
the course of action. Mold will not grow and further deterioration from
water will not occur. Books have been left in a freezer for ten years,
then successfully thawed and air-dried. Freezing will also help to
eliminate smoke odor from materials.
Rapid freezing is recommended to minimize damage from ice crystals (the
faster the materials are frozen, the smaller the ice crystals will be).
Temperatures below 15 degrees F will freeze and dry out wet materials.
If freezer space is not immediately available, and the outside
temperature is below 15 degrees F, place the materials in a secure area
outside. Cover them with plastic if rain or snow is expected.
Freezing is an intermediate stage. After materials have been removed
from the freezer, they must be placed in a vacuum freeze dryer or
PRIORITIES FOR FREEZING
1. Materials which have already developed mold.
2. Leather and vellum-bound volumes.
3. Manuscripts and art on paper stock.
4. Materials on coated stock.
5. Photographic prints.
6. Journal and monograph volumes.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEZING
Call Green Food Service (GFS) personnel as soon as you know you will
need to freeze materials. They will need to know approximately how many
containers there will be and when you will be bringing them over. The
telephone numbers and contact persons are listed under Other
Numbers...On Campus on the Emergency Telephone Numbers sheet.
1. Clear the floors and aisles first.
2. Begin with the wettest materials, probably those on the lowest
shelves, unless water came through the ceiling.
3. Dirt (see Muddy Volumes) should be removed before freezing. If time
does not permit this, muddy books may be frozen -- mud will easily brush
off when it is dry. Silt should be washed out immediately, as it is
almost impossible to remove when it is dry.
4. Pack materials on-site if possible. If not possible, remove by
5. Keep accurate records of the locations from which materials are
1. Remove volumes from shelves in order, if possible.
2. Pack items in the condition in which they are found. Do not attempt
to close open volumes or open closed volumes that are wet.
3. Pack crates one layer only, snugly enough that volumes will not
slide or lean.
4. If books are stuck together, do not attempt to separate them, but
pack them as one volume.
5. Wrap open books as found and place on top of a packed container. Do
not place more than one open volume in a container. Be sure there is a
freezer paper barrier between the packed volumes and the open volume to
prevent staining from binding dyes.
6. Wrap freezer paper around each volume (waxed side next to volume),
write call number on the outside and place in plastic crate or box spine
down. If packing in shelf order, inclusive range label on crate can be
substituted for writing call number on each volume.
1. Attach library ownership tag to each box with bright colored book
tape. Assign each box a number.
2. On a separate sheet of paper, record the box number, call numbers of
each volume or inclusive range, and the total number of books in each
container. If they are not in call number order, note the location
3. If the containers are sent to more than one freezer, note which
container numbers are sent where.
4. Keep records of discarded items. Transporting
1. Materials should be placed in a freezer facility as quickly as
possible to prevent the growth of mold. Care should be taken that
containers do not fall over during transport, as further damage may
2. Materials should be placed in refrigerated trucks if they
cannot be frozen within forty-eight hours.
Vacuum Freeze Drying
Vacuum freeze drying is the safest and most successful method for books,
although it is also the most expensive. Materials must be frozen when
they are placed in a sublimation chamber. This type of chamber operates
under high vacuum and high heat, and turns the ice crystals in and on
the frozen materials to water vapor. The vapor is then collected on a
cold panel that has been chilled to at least -200 degrees F, so it
cannot go back on the materials. If they are not frozen when they are
put in the chamber, the materials will freeze on the outside and the
water molecules on the inside will be forced through the frozen barrier
as the vacuum is pulled. This action can cause the book or document to
Vacuum freeze drying is a last resort drying method for very large
numbers of photographs and can not be applied to all processes.
Sticking of emulsions has sometimes been observed with freeze drying.
When materials are removed from the vacuum freeze chamber, they will be
very dry and should acclimate for at least one month before they are
opened to avoid cracking the spine and/or binding (this is especially
true for leather bindings). They may be placed in a high humidity room
to accelerate the acclimation process, but must be monitored closely for
signs of mold.
Materials so treated will not look like new, but will show signs of
swelling and distortion. Stanford University Library staff members
reported they needed an additional twelve percent of shelf space for
materials that had been treated in Lockheed's chamber. Photographs will
not be damaged by this treatment, but rubber cement may dissolve and
stain the pages to which it has been applied.
The closest vacuum freeze dry facilities are at Midwest Freeze Dry,
Ltd., Midwest Center for Stabilization and Conservation, 7326 N. Central
Park, Skokie, Illinois. (708-679-4756) Other facilities are
Blackmon-Mooring-Steamatic Catastrophe, Inc. (BMS CAT), 303 Arthur
Street, Fort Worth TX (800-433-2940), American Freeze Dry, Inc. in
Audubon, NJ (609-546-0777) or Document Reprocessing in San Francisco.
Vacuum Drying (not recommended)
Vacuum drying involves the placement of wet materials in a
chamber that pulls the moisture out by means of a vacuum. This
method is not recommended as the heat involved is damaging to
paper (especially bound paper) and photographic materials.
Microwave ovens should not be used for the same reason.
Vacuum thermal drying is not recommended for any type of
photographic material as it will cause photographs to stick
together in a solid block.
DOCUMENTS/UNBOUND PAPER MATERIALS
Loose papers can be dried by spreading them on clean absorbent flat
surfaces in areas where there is good air circulation. They can be
covered with non-woven polyester web or plastic mosquito screening to
keep them from blowing away, if needed. Do not attempt to flatten
anything at this stage, simply try to get things dry as quickly as
possible. Flattening can be done later if necessary. Damaged documents
which have value only for their information need only be dried enough to
be handled and photocopied.
If the number of documents affected is too great to be handled within 24
hours, or of value which will require individual attention, the items
should be frozen. Loose papers should be frozen as found. Do not
remove from file cabinet drawers, document cases or folders; do not turn
containers upside down to empty or drain.
In some cases, wet sheets can be separated. The method described is not
highly successful and is extremely time consuming. This method may also
be attempted for coated stock paper.
Separation of wet sheets.
(This process is not highly successful and is extremely time
1. Place a sheet of polyester film (available in Conservation Lab) on
top of a stack of wet unbound papers, or the first page of a bound
2. Rub gently with a bone folder (available in Conservation Lab).
Surface friction will cause the wet paper to adhere to the film.
3. Peel back the top sheet and place it on top of a piece of polyester
4. Remove the polyester film.
5. Place another piece of polyester web on top of the wet sheet.
6. Repeat the entire process, separating the wet sheets one at a time
and interleaving them with polyester web. Materials may be frozen at
7. Air dry the sheets (supported by the polyester web) by placing them
on absorbent paper on tables or on top of closely spaced monofilament
lines. Air in the room should be kept circulating, but fans should not
blow directly on the materials.
8. The papers may be flattened when they are almost dry by placing them
between two sheets of blotting paper (available in Conservation Lab) to
remove excess moisture and applying even pressure with weights.
Materials which have developed mold can be treated in the thymol chamber
to deter its growth. Materials should be dried before treatment. The
mold should be cleaned off with cheesecloth away from other library
materials, preferrably outside. Nothing can be done for mold stains.
Use of the thymol chamber necessitates access to outside for venting.
For this reason, rooms 185 and 186 are the best to use. The room will
need to be reserved for three full days. While the concentration of
thymol used in this process does not present an immediate health hazard,
Health and Safety recommends the room be off-limits for general use
during treatment. Material Safety Data sheets on thymol are available
in the Conservation Lab.
1. Place books on racks in chamber upright and fanned open, as for air
drying. Books can be close, but should not touch.
2. Put 1 tbl. thymol in cup over heat source. Do not let thymol touch
skin. Wear rubber gloves if necessary.
3. Plug in heat source.
4. Double check everything inside chamber before putting on lid.
5. Put on and secure lid. Screws should be tight, but be careful not
to break lid.
6. Secure vent covers.
7. Plug main power cord into socket and turn on power switch. Heat will
evaporate thymol and continue to warm air. Leave heat on 8-12 hours.
8. Turn heat off. Leave chamber closed for an additional 48 hours.
9. Roll chamber outside away from air intake.
10. Plug in power cord, using extension cord if necessary. Open both
vents and turn on fan. Exhaust chamber for 15-20 minutes.
11. Return chamber to room. Remove books and allow to air on isolated
shelf 1-2 months. Books may then be rebound or repaired, if needed, and
returned to the appropriate floor.
FIRE DAMAGED MATERIALS
In case of fire, all burned or charred materials will have to be removed
from the area before ventilation of smoke and air cleaning can be
effective. Those items obviously beyond salvage can be placed on book
trucks or in boxes or garbage bags and taken to another location
(preferably outside) for bibliographic control procedures. Those which
can be salvaged can be removed by book truck to the recovery area.
Binding Fire Damaged Books
Charred items which are to be rebound will need special handling before
being sent to the commercial bindery. Heckman Bindery has provided the
following instructions for sending fire damaged materials to be rebound:
1. Fire damaged materials should be boxed separately from other binding
shipments and marked accordingly.
2. Periodicals should be kept separate from monographs and brought to
the attention of Milner binding staff.
3. All charred or burned covers should be removed before shipment.
4. Be sure the call number is written on the verso of the title page.
5. Any book requiring special treatment (do not trim, specific buckram
color, etc.) should be brought to the attention of the Milner binding
Smoke and Soot Removal
If the only damage to books and papers is soot on the outside, it may be
possible to remove most of it by cleaning with a chemical sponge
(available in Conservation Lab). The chemical sponge does not contain
chemicals which assist in the removal of dirt and odors; the name refers
to the process of manufacturing a sponge that is much more dense than
usual. The sponges can be cut down to fit the cleaner's hand, and can
be washed and reused several times.
To clean a book, hold the book tightly closed. Use a gentle stroking
motion in one direction away from the spine toward the fore edge on the
head and/or tail, and the same kind of technique on the fore edge, spine
and covers. Continue wiping until no more soot or debris can be removed
without damaging the surface area.
Charcoal and/or baking soda can be used to deodorize fire-damaged
materials. Place charcoal briquettes and/or bowls of baking soda in the
area to absorb the odor. If a small number of books are affected, a
clean metal barbeque or similar container can be used. Spread
briquettes in the bottom and place books on a rack over them. Close the
lid and wait two or three days or until the smell can no longer be
detected. The thymol chamber can also be used for this purpose.
Ozone can remove odors but must be used with care and should not be used
with books or papers that are wet or damp. Ozone can combine with water
molecules to form hydrogen peroxide (a bleach) and can cause
discoloration and weakening of some materials. Ozone will break down
cellulose (e.g. paper) molecules and cause them to age more quickly.
Ozone should not be used in occupied areas because high concentrations
can result in respiratory irritation.
PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIALS (prints, negatives, slides, film)
Air drying is the preferred recovery method for all photographic
All wet photographs should be removed from their protective envelopes
before drying. Photographs which have been immersed in dirty water
should be rinsed in cold, clean water before drying or freezing. They
should then be tilted to allow excess water to run off. Photographs with
stable images should be blotted with clean blotters or soft paper towels
before air drying. Non-woven polyester fabric should be placed between
the blotter and photograph to prevent sticking. Place wet photographs
on a rigid support, such as cardboard or a wooden board, when moving
them. Photographs with signs of emulsion deterioration such as bubbling,
separation or image loss should not be rinsed or blotted.
Wet photographs should not be allowed to dry out in stacks or in their
protective envelopes. They will stick to the envelopes and to each
other. Any attempt to separate them after they are stuck together may
result in damage to the emulsion or the image. If photographs are to be
sent to a professional laboratory for treatment, they should be sealed
in plastic bags and transported in plastic garbage cans filled with cold
Water tight housing should be considered for photographic materials,
particularly color products, reel film and microfiche.
Air drying results in the least water damage and mold growth as well as
less dimensional distortion. However, separation and air drying must
be done quickly in order to prevent sticking of emulsions and mold
1. Photographs should be separated before air drying. If photographs
do not separate easily, freeze and consult a photograph conservator
2. If photographs cannot be handled immediately, place in sealed
polyethylene bags and immerse in cold water. Ice can be added to the
water, but not dry ice
3. Air drying should be done in a clean, dry room.
4. Photographs should be removed from frames, mats or enclosures and be
placed emulsion side up on blotters or lint-free cloth. If photograph is
stuck to the glass or overmat, do not force them apart -- consult a
5. Do not allow wet emulsion to come in contact with other materials
until it is completely dry. Do not touch wet emulsion.
6. Film-based images can be clipped by the non-image edges to
monofilament line with plastic spring-type clothes pins.
7. Unmounted paper-based photographs can be weighed down evenly at
their edges with any small clean weights available to prevent curling.
Small glass weights for this purpose are available in the Conservation
8. If large numbers of photographs prevent this treatment, let the
photographs curl as they dry. They can be flattened later by a
conservator if necessary. Do not try to flatten tightly curled dry
Films on Reels
Microfilm and motion picture film must not be allowed to start drying
rolled up because the emulsion will stick. It is possible to dry
microfilm in-house by simply draping over clothes lines, but scratching
and water spotting are likely. Better results will be obtained if the
films are washed and dried by a film processor. Motion picture film
must be handled by a motion picture film processor.
Motion Picture Film
1. Fill can with clean cold water and reseal.
2. Send to motion picture film processor within 72 hours for
washing and drying.
In the case of microfilm service copies, it may be cheaper to replace
them than to salvage. However, master negatives might well be
irreplaceable and salvage might be the only alternative. Wet rolls of
microfilm can be sent to a film processor to be rewashed and dried.
Eastman Kodak and University Microfilms will each handle their own
films. See list of additional phone numbers for contact persons.
1. Put rolls of microfilm into water-tight containers and fill
with clean, cold water.
2. Send to microfilm processor within 72 hours for washing and
Microfiche can be separated and air dried with some success. Microfiche
are prone to water spotting and scratching, so the results are usually
less than good. No company is known which will wash and dry microfiche.
It is probably best to replace.
Color prints, negatives, slides, transparencies
Color materials are very difficult to save, as the colored layers will
separate and the dyes will fade quickly. If the decision is made to
attempt saving color materials, they should be treated as a first
priority. The following hints may be helpful.
1. Air drying is the best method. (Can be frozen and later air dried.)
2. Do not blot or handle on image side.
3. Should not be immersed for more than 48 hours.
4. Remove cardboard mounts from slides and transparencies. Save mounts
until bibliographic information can be transferred.
Freezing Photographic Materials
1. If possible, consult a conservator about problems unique to the
collection before freezing and thawing.
2. Photographs should be kept wet until they are frozen.
3. It is not necessary to interleave photographs before freezing,
although it will certainly make it easier to separate and support them
upon thawing. Negatives should be separated before freezing as they
will stick together when thawed.
4. Place photographs in stacks small enough that all can be air dried
upon thawing. Stacks of photographs should be sealed in plastic bags for
5. To prevent formation of ice crystals on photographs, they should be
quick frozen at 15 degrees F or colder.
6. Air dry as described above.
Clean water probably will not damage sound recordings. However, water
which has leaked through the roof or ceilings and flood water can carry
particles which will scratch a disk.
1. Wash disks in distilled water, following the circular grooves of the
2. Dry thoroughly, again following the grooves, with cheesecloth or
other soft, lint-free cloth.
3. Remove plastic album covers from jackets.
4. Hang or stand jackets in circulating air to dry.
5. Do not reuse plastic album covers; they are good traps for mold and
all but impossible to clean thoroughly.
6. Use new plastic covers and place old jackets (or photo copies) in
cover pockets and record in attached interior pocket.
Water is especially damaging to magnetic media. The longer they have
been wet, the greater the damage will be. The best salvage procedure
for all magnetic materials is to make backup copies of all important
information and store them in water-tight containers, off-site if
possible. Success rates for salvage of magnetic media are extremely low
and the process is labor- intensive. If media are dried and saved, they
can still cause damage to play-back equipment. A good rule of thumb to
follow would be not to attempt salvage of commercially available tapes
and disks. Replacement may ultimately be cheaper. For unique magnet
media, the following may be attempted.
Tapes (audio, video, computer)
1. Break open cassettes.
2. Wash tape in clean or distilled water.
3. Air dry or dry with cheesecloth. Do not dry with heated air as it
will promote humidity, resulting in adhesion of the media.
4. Wind on reels and re-record.
1. Carefully slit open disk jacket -- there is very little clearance
between disk and jacket.
2. Remove disk.
3. Any dirt should be rinsed off in clean, tepid water.
4. Fan dry by hand. Do not use blow dryer as this can cause wrinkling.
5. Open a good but expendable disk jacket and remove the disk.
6. Insert the now-dry old disk into the new jacket. Tape jacket closed
7. Recopy data onto hard drive or new floppy.
8. Clean heads after copying from damaged disks.
Compact Disks (CDs)
1. Hold the disk by the outer edges.
2. Working out from the center in a straight line, wipe off water or
dirt with cheesecloth or other soft, dry cloth.
3. Do not use any cleaners or water on a CD.
4. Do not use a hair dryer to remove moisture or blow off dirt.
BIBLIOGRAPHIC CONTROL FOR EMERGENCIES
During an emergency, it is essential that records be kept for any item
removed from the shelves for any reason. It is from these records that
losses can be counted, replacement materials ordered and salvaged
materials retrieved until they can be returned to their correct
locations. Under recovery conditions, it may be easier to make paper
records initially; however, these should be transferred to the online
catalog as soon as feasible. The Bibliographic Control Crew will be in
charge of this task.
Materials burned, soaked or otherwise damaged beyond recovery should be
removed from the recovery area. Title pages, call numbers or other
available identifying matter can be removed from the items and collected
in a central location for creating LCS printouts. The titles can then
be searched for availability, replacement or withdrawal.
Frozen or Freeze-Dried Materials
Materials which are to be sent off-site for freezing or freeze- drying
should be recorded separately. When preparing items for freezing, the
crate number and the call number of each item in the crate (or the range
of numbers) should be recorded on the crate as well as on a separate
list. From this list, an LCS printout can be made and the materials
charged to an appropriate Conservation account. Those materials which
will be out of service for four weeks or less are to be charged to
Repair (000170020); those to be unavailable longer than four weeks are
to be charged to Damaged (000170015).
Materials which have been involved in a disaster, but which are
repairable in-house should be charged to Repair. Materials to be
re-bound commercially should be charged to Bindery (000170004). Those
items which have dried and need no further attention can be returned to
the shelves as soon as fixtures have been cleaned. If this will occur
within one week, the materials do not have to be charged out: otherwise
they should be charged to Repair and a separate printout made.