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Campus Flood Updates: Libraries Assistance Managing Damaged Books

February 5, 2019

As individuals return to office and classroom spaces in the buildings impacted by the flooding across campus, the Libraries anticipate requests for assistance with damaged books and other materials from the Libraries.

Here’s what you need to know:

What should I do with books/Libraries items damaged by the flooding?

  • Document all damaged items, both library materials as well as personal, and report to risk management.
  • If you need assistance in determining all of the materials you have checked out, please contact Libraries Circulation at circulation@library.wisc.edu. We can provide you with a comprehensive list of items on loan to you.
  • Library materials: Return all damaged library materials as soon as possible to Memorial Library, Room 170 or the Memorial Circulation Desk, so we can route them to the Libraries Preservation Please do not place wet materials in a book return as it can damage other items.
    • If have a large number of library items in your possession and need assistance in coordinating return of those items, please contact Libraries Circulation at circulation@library.wisc.edu.
    • If you cannot return library materials to Memorial Library, bring them to the circulation desk at your nearest campus library.
  • Non-libraries marked items / personal items: The Libraries don’t have the capacity to assist with all damaged items that do not belong to the Libraries. However, we can provide you with assistance in finding outside resources.

What if I need to use the materials that are damaged?

  • The Libraries can assist you in requesting alternate copies of items to replace those damaged if you are still using those materials.

What about fees for damaged materials?

  • Library materials, including UW Madison, UW System, and interlibrary loan items, that are damaged by the campus flooding will not be subject to damage fees.

How quickly do I need to return materials?

  • We encourage you to contact us and/or return any damaged materials as quickly as possible. Mold growth happens rapidly and requires special attention to mitigate, in addition to being a health concern.

If large numbers of books are water-damaged, it’s important to stabilize them as soon as possible to prevent the growth of mold (which can occur within 48 hours). This will also buy time to assess the materials at a later date to see if they can be replaced or treated. Freezing is the most effective means of stabilizing materials, although they can be air-dried if there is minimal damage.

To learn more about stabilizing and salvaging damaged materials here.

For more information about the campus flooding, please be sure to check Wisc Alerts.