At the beginning of July, Preservation Department staff held a wet book salvage workshop at Stanford Auxiliary Library 3. We identified SAL3 as a priority training site due to their distance from immediate preservation support in the event of a flood or leak. So, we packed up some extra supplies and took our salvage show on the road!
To simulate the effect of a water leak in a collection storage area for the hands-on portion of our session we dunked books withdrawn from the library. But before we got our hands wet, we discussed general disaster response, reviewed the contents of the red response bins, and considered potential improvements to the current disaster response set-up at the facility.
Finally, with a simulated water leak scenario in play, the SAL3 team learned the basics of salvaging wet books, including setting up a response area, fanning wet pages, interleaving with paper towel to facilitate drying, identifying the problematic clay-coated pages often found in illustrated volumes, and packing wet books for vacuum freeze-drying.
Many thanks to the SAL3 team for hosting us for this training. We hope, should the unfortunate need arise, this hands-on experience will help prioritize efforts until a salvage plan is in place.