After our two recent water emergencies, one before winter break and the other before spring break (see earlier blog posts), we have learned some lessons and taken baby steps in remedying some problems. We have learned that there is little hope that the water dripping in from the telecommunications conduits will actually be fixed, so every time we get heavy rains and when the ground thaws, we will have to check for water. To prevent water from seeping under the movable shelving we have positioned 10 ft sorbent minibooms along the base of the shelving. Each 10 ft boom sorbs seven gallons. We chose these booms because of their green manufacturing. These minibooms are made from recycled plastic bottles and incinerate to 0.02% ash, and can be used for LEED credits.

As for the sprinkler leak before winter break, we were unable to track the 90 volumes that were removed from the shelves and placed in the Wei T’o freeze dryer. We had a call number range for the books but not an item inventory. We have since purchased handheld barcode readers with Bluetooth technology. As long as a Bluetooth enabled laptop is within range of the scanner, the barcodes will be read directly into an Excel spreadsheet. If the laptop is not available, each handheld scanner can hold up to 4000 barcodes at a time. These can then be uploaded into the spreadsheet after all of the barcodes have been scanned. Here is the trickier part that we have not tested. Once we have the list of barcodes in Excel, we hope to be able to automatically update the status of each of these books in the library catalog so that everyone knows that these books have been removed and are being treated. This test will have to wait as we are in the midst of an ILS migration that will not be complete until sometime in 2011.

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