How do I maintain an old collection of books and documents located in a tropical climate?
Q. Dear Donia,
I am the technical librarian at a petroleum corporation located in Sri Lanka. Our library collection which consists of text books, journals, manuals, and standards are very old (more than 50 years). How can I preserve them without spending much money? I use simple techniques such as daily cleaning, removing dust and air conditioning, and puting camphor balls on the shelves. Thank you, Inoka
A. Dear Inoka,
This is a very difficult question to answer with specifics without seeing your space. What I can do is share some resources with you that may be able to help. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has a lot of resources for libraries in tropical climates as well as having Preservation and Conservation Centers around the world, including one at the National Library of Sri Lanka.
Here are some resources that should be able to help you find the low cost solutions you need to help preserve your books and papers—not an easy task in a tropical climate!
- National Library of Sri Lanka
- IFLA International Preservation News, No. 54, a special topic newsletter on Preservation in Tropical Climates
- Annotated Bibliography on Preservation of Archives in Tropical Climate
I hope this information helps.