2008 Highlights from the Olean Public Library

  • You made 123,593 visits to the library in 2008.
  • You borrowed 188,658 books, magazines, videos, CDs, CD-ROMS and other items.
  • You asked Reference 10,716 questions.
  • You used computers and Internet services 19,355 times.
  • You held 450 meetings in the Conference Room, Art Gallery, and Story Hour Room.
  • You borrowed 380 items from outside the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System and 5,275 items from other libraries within the system.
  • 79 Events, Presentations, and Workshops for all ages and interests were held including Family Fun Day, Crochet & Knitting Group, Brown Bag Book Club, ARVAS Tank Show, origami, TV script writing, and lectures on the Rare Book collection at SBU, the Civil War, Susan B. Anthony, and the archaeology of the area.
  • 15 Literary Events featuring AlleCat Reads Dead Man Walking, visiting authors Sister Helen Prejean, George Johnson, Francis Richey, Ed Sanders, Paul Wieland, & the Creative Writers Group.
  • 9 Art Gallery Exhibits featuring Southern Tier Biennial winner solo show, Errol Daniels, Robert Holland, Georgia Timper, & Jeffery McMillian.
  • The Summer Reading Program had 312 children and teens registered.
  • There were 244 Story Time, Investigation Stations, & Baby Sign sessions for your infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.
  • Through your generosity we received over $15,412 in memorials, gifts, and donations.
  • Friends of the Library of Olean, New York, Inc. gave $13,003 from the Book Endowment for circulating library materials.
  • Friends of the Library of Olean, NY, Inc. gave $2,000 for library programs and presentations.
  • Friends of the Library of Olean, NY, Inc. sponsored receptions at artists’ exhibit openings.

The Worth of Our Volunteers

Even though we all know volunteers are priceless, did you our total volunteer hours for 2008 are 1,329 for a savings value of $26,912.25? We have awesome volunteers! Thank you so much!

Teen Events at the Olean Public Library

The Summer 2009 Teen Volunteer Program at the Olean Public Library is about to begin! If you are in grade 5 thru 12 and interested in volunteering, pick up an application in the library or print it out on the website. Applications due by July 3rd. Volunteer interviews and positions start after July 6th. www.oleanlibrary.org/teens/

The Adult and Teen Summer Reading Program will be held July 1st thru August 3rd. Patrons can pick up a book log at the Information Desk after July 1st.

Mold – It is Not Just For Breakfast Anymore!

Ever so often a question comes up regarding books and mold. I attended a presentation in 2007 on this subject. I thought I would share some of what I learned. These are notes that I took, so the sentence structure may not be the best.

This was a presentation given by Michele Brown from Cornell University and sponsored by ASLS at the NYLA Conference in Buffalo in October 2007. Her e-mail if you have any questions about mold: Mb72@cornell.edu

Molds are fungi. Mildew is a smaller form of mold. For our purposes mold and mildew are the same thing. Mold needs to absorb carbon from other substances in order to live. Mold spores are the way that mold reproduces and spreads. This is what we are concerned with stopping. These spores land on something and grow out and forms a colony. If moisture is taken away at this stage, the vegetative part will die, but the spores will remain.

It is difficult to kill spores. Mold spores are smaller than pollen. Mold spores are between 1 and 20 microns in size. Good air circulation is important – if the mold spore can not land – it can not germinate. Mold spores have their own toxins. For activation it needs to have sufficient moisture and food.

There are molds that can extract moisture out of the air. Black mold needs to land on a substrate that is constantly wet. Mold releases toxins when it germinates. This is when you start to see the staining on the materials that have been attacked by molds. It is also digesting the product at that point.

Molds thrive in damp areas. Mold can grow behind the walls even if it looks like the building is dry. There is an infared therma graph that can see mold in between the walls. Mold is a little plant – it sends out little roots into whatever it is growing on.

Mold can grow on the side of houses on Latex paint. 75% of dust is composed of dead or dormant mold spores. Mold can grow inside of us. Molds like to eat cellulose (paper, cloth). Contact from adjacent moldy material will make it spread. It can be spread through contaminated solutions used for cleaning or mixing. Spores can live in Lysol.

Inside a building the most common spores are aspergillus and penicillium. Attracted to cloth, animal fur, and fibers. Xerophilic can extract moisture from the air. These are the types we find in libraries. Cloth and paper are permanently weakened and stained. Active mold is still growing. If you rub it – it will leave a smear. Inactive mold looks like dust. Both will cause an allergic reaction.

If you have an occurrence of inactive mold – wipe the pages with 70% alcohol, this will wipe up the spores. Book still looks the same after it as been cleaned. Once an item has had a mold growth – it is likely to happen again when you have a spike in humidity. Anything that is going to kill mold spores (chemical wise) is not good for your health. Reaction to mold cause a weakening of your immune system. Flu like symptoms, loss of memory, tremors, hallucinations… A book about this subject is “Poisons of the Past” Mary Kilbourne Matossian. She believes an infection of the rye flour by the ergot fungus was responsible for hallucinations which were the basis of the witchcraft trials.

Keep humidity below 60% to not spread. Dry – humid – dry – humid cycles are good for mold spores. Important to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level. Use a dehumidifier. You can smell mold (mildew smell) – this smell is different than an old book smell. You can also see it. Treat all mold as a health hazard.

Spores will start germinating within 24 hours. Colonies will develop within a few days. If there is a flood turn on fans and dehumidifiers in the first 24 hours. This will make it that the spores can not land and will start to dry out the air. If you can not get the materials dried in 24 to 48 hours – it should be frozen. Freezing the materials stops the mold from growing. Freeze dried – would stop mold growth and take out moisture.

Keep books at 68 – 72 degrees F. Keoep dust out of collections. Make sure humidity is less than 60% humidity. Unpack old books away from your collection. If you have a box that smells suspect, put in a room with a dehumidifier. You need to lower the humidity to make active mold become inactive.

If you have an outbreak: Locate source of moisture Immediately start drying the room and the books out. Determine size of the outbreak. If a book is wet – put it on a table with a fan on it. Use glove (nitrol gloves), masks (N95 or N100 rated), non-vented goggles, aprons or something that you can throw away immediately after you are done. You don’t want to take the mold spores with you.

Isolate the moldy materials to another room or drape plastic around the area. Should be a well ventilated area. Mold must be inactive before you can remove it. Lower the humidity. Dry any wet materials and surfaces are dry (direct fans). Try to keep a book by wiping the powdery substance off with alcohol and cheese cloth or vacuum it with a HEPA vacuum or disposable static cloth. The over the counter alcohol is better than the industrial grade alcohol. Clean the area thoroughly. Use cleaning solution with bleach. Dry thoroughly. Make sure any carpet is completely dry before returning the books to the stacks. Discard all the cleaning cloths and everything you wore and used and throw them away.

Keeping books packed tightly prevents the air and space needed for mold to grow. Foxing – mold circles in the paper – actually molding on the metal that is contained in some paper. After a book is cleaned of mold keep it out of the collection for at least a week until you put it back in to the stacks. Air conditioner blowing on the books – causes mold. Cold air can hold a lot of moisture if it is humid.


http://palimpset.stanford.edu/bytopic/mold/#general A webpage devoted to resources about mold.

http://www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets.list.php Emergency Salvage of Moldy Books and Paper. Northeast Document Conservation Center Preservation Leaflets.

http://www.labsafety.com Lab Safety Supply

http://www.gaylord.com General Conservation Supplies

http://www.universityproducts.com General Conservation Supplies

http://www.americanfreezedry.com/ Freeze drying of wet materials

http://www.us.belfor.com/ Freeze drying of wet materials (recently did some work for Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, NY)

http://www.documentreprocessors.com Freeze drying of wet materials.