October 31, 2012

First-aid for water damaged books


A soaked book found in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Tuesday after Hurricane Sandy.

The Melville House office and bookstore is open. We are lucky that the water level did not reach our elevated first floor space. Libraries and bookstores throughout the Northeast experienced flooding and water damage, including our Dumbo neighbor, Powerhouse Books.

If your books encountered water from the storm (even if you followed MobyLives precautionary measures) here are some tips from the resource pages of the University of Rodchester Library, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library (with instructional photos), and  The Library of Congress to care for water-damaged books.

A “Cleaning Up After Water Damage” Q&A in the American Libraries magazine offers further information about drying out books for libraries and individuals. School librarians should be aware of the “Beyond Words” relief fund.

The ALA’s disaster fact sheet and bibliography is up-to-date and offers emergency response hotlines for libraries and cultural institutions.


Claire Kelley is a the former Director of Library and Academic Marketing.