May 16, 2022

UPDATE: Director of U. of Missouri Libraries Says More Than 120,000 Mold Damaged Books are Salvageable

Note: One month ago (January 29, 2014) we shared a report that mold had damaged more than 600,000 books from the University of Missouri Libraries that were being stored at an underground storage facility where MU Libraries was (and continues to) lease space.

Yesterday, The Missourian reported that U. of Missouri Director of Libraries Jim Cogwell has said more than 120,000 of the books are salvageable.

From the Article:

A bid for a contractor to restore the books is due March 7. Remediation will begin as soon as possible after that, Cogwell said.

MU’s lease on the Subtera cavern — the storage facility where mold was discovered — expires June 30. MU Libraries is looking for two storage facilities: permanent space for the salvageable books and a short-term holding space to keep some of the books during the transition.


MU Libraries has been asking the university to expand the UM Library Depository on Lemone Industrial Boulevard since 1998. Expanding the depository — which already stores 1.2 million volumes — could cost more than $5 million, according to the MU Libraries website.

Library administrators asked for an depository expansion in 1998, 2005 and 2007, said Matt Gaunt, director of development for MU Libraries, said. “At each turn, we were told to find something else.”

Read the Complete Article

See Also: FAQ Regarding Mold at Offsite Storage (via MU Libraries)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.