Perhaps the most positive aspect of the current HVAC conditions at the Library involve the interest of the University Operations and Maintenance and their willingness to work with the Law Library to find solutions. This department has previously taken steps (such as the installation of a recording hygrometer) to address some of the issues in the Law Library. A second positive area is the interest in the Dean of the Law School to identify the funds necessary to make improvements. These are situations not found on every campus and they suggest that the Library's problems, no matter how large they may seem, can be brought under control. Equally positive is the interest in preservation on the part of the Library's director, Ann Puckett, Esq. I encourage the Library to maintain the current momentum.
The Library does have a variety of serious problems relating to the current environmental conditions and to any efforts to achieve and maintain a preservation environment. Foremost among these problems are (1) the design of the current HVAC system, which is not intended to maintain adequate humidity control, (2) the absence of adequate moderate or long-term environmental monitoring records, and (3) the very poor level of building cleanliness. These problems are currently manifested in what appear to be high levels of mold in the building and a system which cannot adequately control the humidity level of the building and collections.
It is likely that the solution to these issues will require a two pronged approach of capital improvement - - replacing and/ or modifying HVAC equipment - - and an overall building cleaning program - - sufficient to reduce the mold load in the collections. While delayed maintenance programs may be a necessary approach to classrooms and dorms, it is shortsighted to delay maintenance of the Library considering its houses a $19+ million investment in books and other educational materials. The loss or damage of this collection could create a situation from which the University would have trouble recovering. Every effort possible should be taken to protect this in vestment.
For the bulk of the recommendations offered below there is also some indication of the urgency of the proposed work. Virtually all of the proposed modifications and changes can be accomplished within a 5-year plan and many are of such significance to the well-being of the collection that they should be implemented within the next year.
Chicora Foundation, Inc., "Preservation Assessment of Current HVAC Conditions at the University of Georgia Law Library" (1994). Other Law School Publications. 172.