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Mold Habitat Favorites
Sheltered – no air circulating which would prevent spores from settling
Warm – mold can grow in climates as cool as 40°F; however, ideal temperature is above 70°F
Moist – 55% Relative Humidity and higher. The more humid, the more moisture mold can pull out of the air. If the surface is moist, so much the better
Dark – inside a closed book, in back corners, under dust jackets, etc.

Mold is a fungus, in a separate kingdom from plants and animals. Mold spores are like seeds, and are highly resistant to changes in temperature and humidity. It is nearly impossible to eradicate all spores from a library collection without specialized air filtration equipment. The goal instead is to keep the environment inhospitable to mold growth, treat books when they become potentially good mold habitats (e.g., by becoming wet) and to find and address any books found with mold.


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.