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.
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.”
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