Today is Preservation Underground’s fourth anniversary. We want to thank our loyal readers, especially those that take the time to comment on our posts.These exchanges keep us engaged and learning, for that I’m appreciative.
My birthday wish for our blog is that we can continue sharing our work with our colleagues both within and outside the library in an engaging way. I would also like to foster even more conversations. What would you like to see more of in the next year? What inspires you to read and respond to a post? What burning preservation or conservation topics would you like us to write about? I’ll leave you with four images of what is happening in the lab today.
Clockwise from upper left: Grace and Tedd on a construction tour with Ken from LendLease; Jim from LendLease works with After Disaster to monitor the drying of our cork floor; Mary and Aaron pre-cut plastic so all we need to do is unroll it if necessary; on the construction tour we saw what was happening on the other side of our wall (hint: they are draping plastic in preparation of rain tomorrow–keep your fingers crossed for us!).
Our Facebook and Twitter followers will know that we had a construction-related water leak in the lab last week that effectively closed our services except for responding to emergencies or rush requests. We were extremely lucky that no one got hurt and no collections got damaged thanks to the quick action of the lab staff.
The leak occurred in our photo documentation and supply rooms. The construction crew had to cut out the baseboards to get air into the walls. They also pulled up the cork floor in the two rooms to facilitate drying. We have had several industrial dehumidifiers and blowers going since last Wednesday but the cork floor is still wet in places. Hopefully it will be dry enough by next week to get the repairs underway.
Besides the noise, the worst part has been the fact that all of our photo equipment and supplies had to be evacuated to the main lab. It’s a bit maze-like trying to get around the room, and finding supplies is a hunt-and-peck endeavor. Conservation work continues but it has slowed down considerably and will remain so until our space is back to normal. We ask for everyone’s patience while we work through the recovery.
The big lesson I learned is that it takes a village to respond and recover from even a small disaster. The construction company has been extremely helpful in coordinating the dry-out. Our colleagues in the Digital Production Center helped with the initial response. Staff from Shipping & Receiving were on hand to help vacuum water. Housekeeping has helped move trash. There are many more to thank for coming to our aid. We were lucky, it could have been much worse. And I now have clean, dry socks in my disaster kit.
Today in conservation Grace is washing a newspaper published in 1815. Erin is at Smith Building for our bi-monthly Conservation At Smith consulting hours. Mary is working on rebinding some 18th Century Government Documents. I am air drying a box full of damp materials that have been in the freezer for a while. We also hosted a lunchtime tour for faculty and we discovered our water was turned off due to the construction.
Help Wanted: You Can Help Keep Our Collections In Good Condition (installed 10/2/12)
On display in Perkins Library, Lower Level 1, Room 023. Open during regular library hours.
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