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Wake Tech Community College

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Emergency Preparedness, Preservation, & Recovery: Recovery

This is an internal guide covering the library disaster plan and emergency procedures.


Advance planning includes having workflows in place to address large-scale disasters that exceed the resources of the institution for effective response. Emergency vendors that specialize in response and are capable of handling a large volume of material can provide this coverage.

The Library of Congress Preservation Directorate created a model Collections Emergency Response Contract (opens in a new tab) [PDF: 230 KB / 42 p.] to aid other institutions in the process of developing a contract for collections emergency response. The model contract describes the services and associated requirements for stabilization and recovery of affected collections when an institution is confronted with a disaster over a certain magnitude. *(1)


"Services" includes all purchases that do not result in the acquisition of equipment or material by the college, and all other purchases not described elsewhere. Examples of services purchases include the rental of equipment or material, contractual services, consultant services, personal service contracts, and printing.

Independent Contractors:

These contracts are with businesses rather than individuals that are employees of the College. These contracts must be sent to the Business Services Office attached to an approved Expenditure Authorization Request. Payment is made on receipt of an invoice through the Accounts Payable process rather than by the normal payroll procedure. Because they are a business, the Federal Tax Identification Number or a Social Security Number must be furnished for the contractor.

The dean or manager is responsible for ensuring that all documentation needed to prepare payroll reaches the Personnel Records Office not later than the 5th of each month.
When an hourly rate of pay needs to be determined for an employee, that rate will be found by dividing the full-time annual salary by 2,080 hours (52 weeks x 40 hours).
E05a.107_Independent Contractors_4-Business

Service Contracts for Recovery must be handled by the Business Services Office

Purchasing Process

First Aid Kits - Schooldude (include further instructions)

React Pack - Purchased through regular e-pro process

Inventory Summer 2016


Preservation Recovery
  • 6 pairs of cloth gloves
  • 4 dust masks
  • 2 pairs of goggles
  • silica gel beads to regulate/monitor moisture
  • a climate meter
  • archival boxes
  • archival barrier board
  • Plastic sheeting

 Bruce I. Howell Library:

Preservation Recovery

Northern Wake Campus Library:

Preservation Recovery
  • Wax paper
  • PVA Glue
  • 2 plastic bone folders 
  • Ziploc bags (sandwich and gallon size)

Western Wake Campus Library:

Preservation Recovery

PSEC Library:

Preservation Recovery

Perry Health Science Campus Library:

Preservation Recovery

Prevention and Recovery


Geography and climate cannot be changed, but other vulnerabilities can be reduced. If building and collection conditions are regularly monitored, repaired and improved, many emergency situations will be eliminated.

Each employee is responsible for reporting any damage or unsafe conditions of the building and equipment therein.  When a problem is discovered, inform the Campus Librarian and fill out a SchoolDude maintenance request at

Additional actions to reduce building and collection vulnerability include maintaining a collection inventory, improving collection storage, and following good security and housekeeping procedures.

  • An inventory will provide a basic list of holdings to assist in assigning priorities for salvage, and will be essential for insurance purposes. 
    • Main Campus last inventoried: Summer 2015
    • Northern Wake Campus last inventoried: Summer 2016
    • Perry Health Science Campus last inventoried: Summer 2016
    • PSEC last inventoried: Summer 2016
    • Western Wake Campus last inventoried: Summer 2016
  • Improved collection storage, such as boxing and raising materials above the floor level, will reduce or eliminate damage when emergencies occur.
  • Comprehensive security and housekeeping procedures will ward off emergencies such as theft, vandalism, and insect infestation. They will also ensure that fire exits are kept clear and fire hazards eliminated.

The library collections are most vulnerable to damage from moisture, fire, mold/mildew, pests and age. Additional information regarding the prevention and treatment of these conditions can be found under the additional tabs located within this box.

Fire is one of the most damaging catastrophes that can befall a library.  Not only do the flames cause irreparable burn damage to collection materials, but a fire in the library will also result in smoke, water, and chemical damage.


  • Hallways, stairways, and access aisles must be kept clear of all storage; DO NOT USE THESE AREAS FOR STORAGE, EVEN TEMPORARILY! Housekeeping and storage in all other areas should be neat and orderly.
  • Do not store or place materials against electrical outlets, light fixtures or heat producing equipment.
  • Placement of high value collections into enclosed cabinets and containers to help deter fire damage. 
  • Extension cords and multiple plug adapters should be avoided.. If a circuit keeps tripping off or a fuse keeps blowing, it is overloaded with too many electrical appliances.
  • Electrical appliances such as hot plates, toasters, coffee makers, etc., should be restricted and allowed only with management approval. Best practices: any electrical appliances in the library should: 1)have a visual light to indicate when the appliance is on; 2) be installed on a non-combustible surface and separated from other combustibles by at least 18 inches; 3) appliances and electrical cords should be routinely inspected for obvious problems (burn spots, frayed wires, etc.), and immediately repaired or disposed of when problems are found.
  • Know the location of Fire Extinguishers\Fire Suppression equipment:
    • See maps on collection and building layout page for location of fire extinguishers (still needs to be added to some maps).



Identify the Signs of Mold/Mildew

Mold and mildew live off of organic material (leather, wood, paper, cloth) and over time their presence can weaken the structure of the book, stain the cover and pages, and prompt negative effects in your health, especially for folks with allergies or asthma.+


  • the presence of fuzzy growth, in just about any color you can imagine
  • stringy, white filaments stretching across porous surfaces
  • evidence of past water damage
  • strange spots or stains


  • “Old book smell” - that ubiquitous scent is often caused by mildew, even after it is removed
  • a thin haze, a patch of spots, or a powdery flaking layer, normally white, black, or grey on the surface of the book or paper

Preventing Mold

Mold thrives in warm dark areas with poor air circulation.  Even if remedial treatment is undertaken, the material will quickly deteriorate again if returned to the environment in which the mold first developed.

Treating Mold/Mildew

When the cause has been traced, take immediate steps to remove it. Contact building maintainable (SchoolDude) to Vacuum or mop up standing water, adjust the HVAC, and/or activate electric fans to speed up the circulation of air. If dehumidifiers are available, they should be employed with both HVAC and fans.

Treating mold-infected books

Books identified as having a mold infestation will usually be removed from the collection permanently.  Some exceptions may apply if the item is irreplaceable and can be treated without undue risk to the health and wellbeing of staff. 

If a large number of books are wet or damp, freezing is a way of quickly stabilizing the infestation until appropriate treatment can be dispensed.

The treatment of mold-infected books requires that they be taken to a well-ventilated area with electric fans to increase air movement. A good arrangement is to stand the books on edge with the boards slightly opened have a fan blow across them through an open window or to handle the books inside a running fume hood (cupboard). Rapidly moving air will dry out the moisture and desiccate the mold spores, rendering them inactive. If necessary, take the books outdoors and place in the sun and a mild breeze for a short time, and if possible, remove the mold outdoors. Ultraviolet rays from the sun will kill mold. In handling infected books, staff should wear HEPA face masks or respirators and plastic or rubber gloves.

When the books are dry, a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner should be used to remove as much of the inactive mold as possible from the covers of the books.

If the library does not have a HEPA filter vacuum, activated dusters (dusters with an electrostatic charge, or containing a mild adhesive) can be used. The dusters should be laid over the infected area and the mold spores gently picked up. This procedure prevents mold spores from being released into the air.

When the soft mold has been removed, the outside of book covers can be wiped with a solution of ethyl alcohol. This acts as a mild solvent to remove some of the outer staining. Care must be taken not to wet the area too much.

The inside of the books can now be examined. In many cases, mold stains will be seen on the inside of the binding, near the joints and at the head and tail. The stains can be gently swabbed with ethyl alcohol, but it is unlikely that they will be completely removed. Although mold stains can be treated with chemical bleach, this is not recommended because bleach can cause the paper to deteriorate rapidly, especially in humid conditions.

Returning treated books

Books should not be returned to their shelf location until the space is declared completely free of mold and the cause identified and rectified. Affected surfaces in the room can be washed down with liquid bleach (Lysol), but this should be completely dry before the room is again occupied.

Following the return of books to the shelf, the room should be inspected periodically to ensure that mold has not returned. HVAC components should be checked, especially in vent areas, and HVAC filters changed on a regular basis. In the absence of HVAC, ensure that air circulation is improved.

What not to do

Unfortunately, there are numerous rough and ready approaches to mold removal that should be avoided. For example: Do not brush off dried-out mold spores. This will launch them into the air where they can be inhaled.

• Do not spray or swab the books with bleach of any kind. This can cause severe damage.
• Do not use a chemical fumigant without checking to see if it is toxic.
• Do not inhale mold spores when cleaning off books, and do not enter a mold-infested area without an approved face mask

Insect Damage

Insects likely to infest archives and libraries are numerous. Their patterns of infestation and resultant damage vary not only from species to species but within species, depending on life-cycle stage: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The following list records some signs of infestation.

Signs of Insect Infestation

  • Live insects most likely found inside and between books and papers or within cracks and crevices of shelves (particularly wooden shelves).
  • Insect remains, including whole carcasses, body parts and cast-skins, most likely found on window sills, within the spine of a book, or along the bottoms of books, as well as within cracks and crevices of shelves.
  • Frass/Droppings, including black (roach) pellets, "poppy-seed" (termite) pellets, "saw-dust" (dermested or powder-post beetle) pellets, and suspicious piles of fine dust or powder. Frass varies widely in color.
  • Wings ranging in size (from 0.5 mm upwards) and color (from clear to dark brown).
  • (Fresh) Holes/Tunnels in materials. A "fresh" hole is one which both continues from one page through the next page(s) and is accompanied by frass/droppings if not also live insects.

Prevention and Response

  • In order to make signs of infestation more apparent and the environment less likely to attract and support insect life, library staff, work-study students, and volunteers should dust all window sills and book shelves regularly.
  • Without exception, whenever any of these signs is noticed, library staff should contact building maintenance (SchoolDude) as soon as possible to address the problem.

Recovery Process

Each library has its own unique collections catered to the needs of the campus in which it is located.  Below is a list of collections in priority order for recovery in the event of a situation that may result in loss or damage. Additional collection information can be found under the "Collections and Building Layouts" tab along with building information and maps.


Main Campus Collection Priority -

  1. North Carolina Collection
  2. President's Leadership Collection
  3. Faculty/ Staff Authors collection
  4. Board of Trustees minutes

Northern Wake Campus Collection Priority -

  1. College Archives: Third floor Rm 343
  2. Reserves: Behind the circulation desk Rm 241
  3. Tech Lending collection (Laptops/calculators/other electronics): at circulation desk Rm 241
  4. General Collection: Third floor Rm 341

Perry Health Science Campus Collection Priority -

Public Safety Education Campus Collection Priority -

Western Wake Campus Collection Priority -

  1. Reserves: Behind the circulation desk
  2. Laptop cart containing five laptops
  3. General Collection


An inventory of the collections housed in each library is conducted periodically.  As of Fall 2016 all campuses have completed at least one inventory using the SIRSI ILS inventory function.  After an inventory is completed collection items unaccounted for are marked missing/lost.  Using the SIRSI's report module, various report can be generated to list items housed in the libraries' collections, estimate of the collection value based on the replacement costs assigned to materials during the cataloging process, and provide other useful information in the event of theft or loss.

For detailed instructions on the inventory process, go to the library intranet webpage on inventory: (password protected, opens in a new tab)


When an item is damaged beyond use it is withdrawn from the collection.  Staff inspect items returned after being checked out.  When the damage is caused by a library user, the patron responsible is billed for the damages.  For items that are still usable but have suffered minor damages, a Circ. Note is added to the item record indicating the damage.Additionally, staff, student employees and volunteers can use the "Damage Assessment Form" linked below to assess items in the collection for damages.  Damaged items are removed and replaced as funds become available.  Only staff can add Circ Notes to item records. Instructions for adding a Circ. Note can be found under the "Recording Damages in Catalog" tab in this box. 

If a library item has been damaged but is still able to circulate, record the damage in the Circ. Note field in the item's catalog record.  The Circ Note will pop up on the screen whenever the item is checked in or out so staff and patrons are aware of any past damages.

  1. Open the cataloging module in SIRSI
  2. Expand the Call number and Item menu
  3. Select: Edit Item
  4. Add note to Circ Note Field. 

Useful Websites and Cited Sources