Collections emergency response drop-in workshops

April 9, 2019
Annie Matthys
A wet library book sits on a shelf, swollen from the moisture retained in its pages. Fuzzy, green mold is growing on the book.

A flood in the library caused by a burst pipe.

An accidental fire sprinkler discharge resulting in a voluminous mist spraying down on bookshelves.

Heavy rains lead to an unexpected roof leak in the early hours of the morning.

These scenarios strike fear in the heart of any person working in libraries and archives as they think of precious collections potentially being damaged beyond repair. Unfortunately, these scenarios aren't just the stuff of bad dreams: a water disaster - big or small - can happen at the most unsuspecting of times. 

If any of these disasters become a reality, being prepared to respond quickly and with the appropriate tools means more salvageable materials. To celebrate Preservation Week 2019, between April 21st and 27th, the Preservation Department will hold two drop-in workshop sessions with the goal of preparing library staff to effectively utilize their collections emergency response kits. The sessions are informal and participants are invited to ask questions, talk through scenarios with Preservation Department staff, or even share their own experiences with a collections emergency. We will specifically address:

  • What materials are included in a collections emergency response kit
  • How to best utilize kit contents
  • Strategies for responding to a disaster
  • Special considerations when planning branch-wide staff training

New, revised Quick Help Guides for collections emergency response will be available to review and will be dispersed to all branches during Preservation Week. 

Drop-in sessions take place on the following days:

  • Tuesday, April 23rd at 11:00 am in room 245A (Green Library)
  • Thursday, April 25th at 2:00 pm in room 245A (Green Library)

Additionally, the Preservation Department will have a pop-up booth near the east portal of the Green Library on Tuesday, April 23rd starting at 2:00 pm to answer questions about preventive preservation and share information on what we are doing to preserve collections at Stanford. There will be great preservation handouts to share -- grab a few for yourself and your colleagues!