Damage to library materials


Damage to library materials is caused by natural elements such as temperature and humidity extremes, light, pollutants in the air, mold, and pests. Their detrimental effects are usually gradual, cumulative, and irreversible. Some library materials deteriorate more quickly than others because they are made from inherently unstable materials, such as acidic paper, magnetic tape, and nitrate and cellulose-acetate base photographic film. Natural disasters such as fires and floods, and building problems such as plumbing failures and roof leaks take their toll on library collections in a more immediate way.

People also contribute to the deterioration of library materials. Although some damage to library materials is willful, most is the unintentional result of uninformed or careless handling by patrons or staff, and even though wear and tear from normal handling and use is inevitable, much of the damage that occurs could be avoided. It can be difficult to tell whether a book is damaged from normal wear and tear or some other cause: this exhibition invites viewers to judge whether the damage of the object displayed is the result of normal use or abuse. Answer keys are located at the bottom of each page.

http://www.ala.org/alcts/pwtips #audio #textiles#scrapbooks #photos #film #preswk