A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Library Collections Dodge a Soggy Bullet

January 14, 2016

Books in the UC Merced Library suffered no damage after a recent water leak due to the book stacks' location.While last month’s water leak in the west wing of the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library caused a big mess and inconvenience, in one way, the campus was lucky: No books in the UC Merced Library collection were damaged.

Saving wet books is a labor-intensive, costly process, and even when everything is done right, not every wet book can be saved.

Fortunately, the library's book stacks are situated where they are unlikely to get wet in the event of a water leak in the east wing.

Even so, UC Merced Library staff members are trained on how to respond to disasters that impact the book stacks.

The University of Michigan Library provides instructions for saving wet books. Meanwhile, here is a quick tip if a book gets wet and there is no time to dry it: Place it in the freezer until it can be treated. Freezing stabilizes the book and prevents it from getting moldy.