The hurricane has come - but it has not gone. Its damage remains behind. If your books are damaged by water - water of any source - here are some tips to salvage them.
A soaked book found in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Tuesday after Hurricane Sandy.
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First-aid for water damaged books
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 Dumboneighbor, Powerhouse Books.
If your books encountered water from the storm (even if you followedMobyLives 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.
- Prop up the books vertically by fanning out the pages to promote air drying of pages. You can also put paper towels between the separated pages.
- Books can be placed in a plastic zip lock bag or stacked in a crate spine down and frozen to keep the material stabilized if you need more time to carefully dry the books. Rapid freezing to -15 to -20 degrees is necessary to minimize damage from ice crystals, so be aware that home freezers can’t always achieve this. A food storage freezer is ideal for this method.