Preservation Services Remodeled, Receives Extra 180 Square Feet

A former storage room in Olin Library is now part of the Preservation Services facility.

A former storage room in Olin Library is now part of the Preservation Services facility.

When one of Olin Library’s books becomes tattered or torn, Preservation Services helps restore the book, making it again available for circulation.

In April, the one-room shop located in Olin’s basement received its own facelift.

“We outgrew the space that we had,” explains Michaelle Biddle, head of preservation services. “Our carpet was saturated with dirt and mold, and we needed more space and better lighting.”

The renovation included removing a wall between Preservation Services and a storage room formerly used by Special Collections and Archives. The storage area was merged with the current preservation lab, adding an additional 180 square feet to the working area.

The lab received new paint, new lighting and a Scottish tile floor. The project was funded by the Adelphic Education Fund.

Biddle works in the lab with between five student preservation technicians. She will be hiring eight students for the 2009-10 academic year.

“We now have wonderful light, cleanliness and enough space to be organized,” Biddle says. “Our productivity is up by over 100 percent compared to last year because we can now work on several different projects simultaneously.”

Preservation Services, established in 1999, restores books that have torn binding or pages, mold, page staining, and defacing. The department helps maintain the library’s collections, to ensure their availability to users, and to make items available in different formats when the originals are no longer useful because of severe deterioration of paper or bindings.