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    Disaster Planning
     by Mary Wilson Stewart & Johlene Hess

    On August 1, 2001 parts of Carrier Library were disguised as a war zone as the library's Preservation Committee hosted a mock disaster session.  Mary Wilson Stewart the head of the library's preservation department and the library's preservation committee organized this session to teach library faculty and staff on the basics of preserving library materials in the event of a disaster.  

    After an informative session on the particulars of protecting different types of material and the stages of disaster recovery,  workshop attendees divided into teams and set to work salvaging water-damaged library materials.  Each team was given water damaged books, microforms, video and audiotapes, cds and records and asked to treat or pack the materials depending on the type of media and the extent of the water damage.

    Each team worked as a unit with everyone given a particular task:

    • team leaders kept the teams work flow going and kept up with supplies

    • sorters determined which books were damp and which were wet

    • packers sorted books in the appropriate treatment box and packaging

    • recorders noted which books went in which boxes

    • salvagers set up damp books to air dry

    McGehee Claims he didn't do itDamp books air dry

    Water-soaked books were the biggest job as these needed to be assessed according to the extent of the water damage and the type of paper.  Books were designated damp (treated to air dry onsite), wet (packed for treatment) or very wet (specially packed for treatment).  Microfiche was washed and removed from packaging and left to hang dry; microfilm was not removed from packaging, but bundled to be treated offsite; cds were washed and left to try in racks along with video, audiotapes, and albums.      

                                                                                                                                                    

                                           

    Microfiche is rinsed in clean water and hung to dry                        Sorting books : wet and very wet                       Packing books for freezing -                                                                                                                                                                          Waxed paper prevents color bleeding

            

    mail comments and questions to:
    clarkeke@jmu.edu

    Copyright 2001. JMU Libraries.
    All rights reserved.