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The current reality of library operations means that mold is a part of library life. This does not have to mean the ruination of a collection; however, it does mean we need diligence to protect our collections. As with many aspects of library operations, a plan is important when dealing with mold. This should include:

  1. What to do when a book is either returned damp (or soggy), or found still damp if it makes it back into the stacks before drying completely
  2. How to discard books infected with mold
  3. How to treat books that have been in contact with a moldy book in the stacks
  4. Establishing a plan for emergency situations such as flooding, where your library might be forced to send a large portion of its collection to a recovery facility.

Decide how to organize your plan based upon what makes the most sense to the smooth operation of your library. Having the plan in writing means that staff can respond to critical situations quickly, even when supervisory staff are not available.


Books Gone Bad - Mold in Library Collections was a project sponsored by Maine College of Art, in partnership with the Joanne Waxman Library. Funding for this project came from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. The Project Lead and Artist for this project was Diane J. Wren. All contents Copyright © 2011 by Diane J. Wren. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Diane J. Wren.