Tag Archives: covid-19

Disaster Response When Campus is Closed

Preservation Week and May Day both happen this week. It is a good time to update your disaster plan or do one other thing to better prepare your organization for disasters. This year disaster recovery includes trying to figure out disaster response when campus is largely vacant, and how you can maintain physical distancing if you need to respond to a collections emergency.

Last week a hot water pipe burst on the third floor of the History Department’s building sending water down to the first floor. Two faculty members reported having wet library books. We sent them information on caring for their personal collections, then went to campus to retrieve a handful of books from the building. We also met one faculty who drove his library books over to the library.

Our Response to a Small Collections Disaster

There are several apps that are useful in these situations. I used one to scan and send a list of barcodes to Circulation for the books that needed to be checked back in.

bar code scanning app screen shot
Bar codes ready for email.

I then set up the damp books in the fume hood to dry.

books drying in fume hood
Books drying in fume hood.

I prepared two wet books for freezing by wrapping them with butcher paper,  sandwiching them between buffered corrugated boards, and securing them with cotton tying tape. Writing the barcode and date on the package will help us easily identify them in the freezer.

Books prepped for the freezer
Ready for the freezer.
A Silver Lining

A silver lining in all of this is we discovered that our freezer is acting up again. Readers might recall  that we had a problem with the drain in this freezer almost a year ago. We are waiting for the parts to come in so a repair technician can be scheduled.

Freezer malfunction
The Iceman Floweth, again.
After the Initial Response

The books in the fume hood dried within a couple days. I went back to campus and put them into presses to flatten. We will evaluate these for repair or replacement once we are back on campus.

Books in the press
A good pressing should get these fairly flat.

This disaster was very small but it did raise questions about large numbers of library books housed in faculty offices, and what that means in terms of recovery efforts.

 

What Day is it? It’s Equipment Day!

Every year we celebrate Equipment Day, the day the Schimanek board shear and book presses landed on our loading dock from Germany on April 9, 2003. Although the conservation unit was formed almost a year prior in July 2002, it’s April 9th that we celebrate becoming “a lab.” So depending on how you count, we are either 17 or 18 years old this year.

April 9th was a bit of a blur this year because we are all working from home. We were going to have a celebration that included a reception and an open house for the lab. Since we can’t do that together, we thought we would post our presentation here. The biggest piece of news this year is that we have surpassed the quarter-million mark for items coming through the lab since 2002.

And if you haven’t seen the lab, we have a video tour online.

Happy birthday to us. Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.

Last One Out Turn Off the Lights

Due to Covid-19, Duke University Libraries decided to close on March 20, 2020. We are working from home until further notice.

Before we left the lab, we made sure our collections disaster plan was up to date. We have several versions of this plan.

  • A traditional long-form plan that many of you have. If you don’t have one, here’s some help in writing one.
  • A one-page “get started” plan with critical phone numbers and first-steps to take during an emergency. We keep several copies of this in our disaster closet for grab-and-go.
  • A Pocket Plan with a complete phone tree on one side, and first-steps on the other. This is handy for when the power goes out, and when you just need to find a phone number fast.
image of Pocket Plan
DUL Pocket Collections Response Plan. Good to have when the power goes out.

We coordinated with Rubenstein Library to take the materials we were working on back to the secure stacks. This posed an excellent use of several sheets of delaminating corrugated board that we have squirreled away in our supply closet.

book trucks to return
Book trucks labeled and headed back to the secure stacks.

Before leaving we called the head of procurement for Duke Medical Center to ask if we could donate our PPE including N95 masks and nitrile gloves. They came over in about ten minutes to pick these up. I wish we had more to give.

N95 masks and gloves for donation
Not much, but every one counts.

With that, we were off to try this work-from-home thing. So far, it is going OK. Best part is that many of us finally have an offices with windows. It might be difficult to return to the basement.

Stay home if you can. Stay well. Be kind. Wash your hands often. See you soon.

Working From Home Options for Conservation Labs

As the Covid-19 virus spreads, we have started planning for work that Conservation staff can do at home should we be told to stay off campus. As of this publication we have not been asked to stay home but preservation professionals prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This has been a thought provoking exercise and everyone has contributed to our brainstorming.

We wanted to share what we have drafted to date in case any other labs are in a similar situation. These discussions are also happening on the AIC Community discussion boards and on social media. If you have other ideas, please share in the comments. A big thank you to Kristen St.John at Stanford for the original idea and letting us run with it.

Professional Development

AIC Connecting to Collections webinars (free)

AIC Collections Care self-study options (from free to $89)

AIC self-study courses for Heritage Responders (free)

LinkdIn Learning (aka Lynda) (many academic libraries have free access)

ALCTS YouTube channel (free)

Rare Book School YouTube channel (free)

NEDCC Preservation 101 online self-study (free)

NEDCC Preservation Leaflets (free)

NASIG Youtube Channel (free)

Diversity and Equity in Conservation

AIC/FAIC Youtube Channel (a lot of C2C videos, plus more) (free)

UCLA History of the Book website (free)

Preservation of Plastic Artifacts conference

Syracuse Brodsky Series lectures (PDF transcripts are here) (free)

Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services Youtube page (free)

Image Permanence Institute webinars (free)

CCAHA webinars (free)

Guild of Book Workers Standards Seminars (free for one month!)

Departmental service

Market/vendor research

Technical research

Review/update documentation

Review/update shared workflows (collaborate with other units)

Draft blog posts

Clean out/organize your email and shared drive files

Create futons

Update your contact info in the disaster plan

Cross training with other departments

Professional service

Prepare presentations or work on research papers/posters

Book and Paper Group wiki contributions (Wiki main page)

Add entries of storage solutions to Stash-C

Contribute to Linked Data projects

Host a virtual “unconference” for a focused but informal online discussion on a certain topic. See “How To Run A Free Online Academic Conference: A Workbook (version 0.1)” [credit Sarah Reidell, Penn Libraries]  This could include a department wide virtual meeting to discuss a reading, video, etc.

Skills/Individual Development

Write end of year performance evaluations (it’s that time of year afterall)

Create a book model that you haven’t learned before, or explore sewing structures you haven’t learned before, etc.

Apply for AIC professional membership (Fellow)

Learn to Wash Your Hands

WHO hand washing guide
World Health Organization

 

Johns Hopkins video based on WHO recommendations:

 

Create your own Handwashing Meme.

baby shark washing hands poster
Wash your hands, doo doo do do to do

 

Did you know singing the refrain from the School House Rock Constitution Preamble episode takes just over 20 seconds (the recommended length of time to wash your hands with soap and water).

And the Preamble goes like this:

We the people,
In order to form a more perfect union,
Establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
Provide for the common defense,
Promote the general welfare and
Secure the blessings of liberty
To ourselves and our posterity
Do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

For the United States of America…