This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.

Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
011. (Book and Paper) Moth Larvae Infestation of Books and Materials from Syracuse University Libraries

Log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

During a recent incident at Syracuse University, a professor on campus discovered moth larvae on a “few library books” in her office, one of the oldest building on campus. They immediately contacted me, the Preservation Librarian. In my initial assessment I discovered approximately 1000 books, binders, and file folders in the professor’s office, 441 of which were books from the SU Libraries; the remainder belonged to the professor personally. More than half of the books were infested with maggot larvae. The worms attached themselves to the books, papers, furniture and walls throughout the professor’s office. We began the task of bagging every book in the office, regardless of whether they belonged to the Libraries or were the professor’s personal books. It took the two librarians all day to complete. 19 crates of books and several boxes of papers were transported to freezer units in the dormitories. I secured space in a large freezer found in one of the dormitories usually used to freeze mattresses that are infested with bed bugs. Two additional freezers had to be moved from the Libraries Special Collections to handle the overflow. The books were frozen at -10F for 3 weeks. At that point, with no living organisms found during a random inspection of several books, librarians and staff cleaned the books with Absorbent Dry Cleaning Sponges and Natural China Chip Brushes. In our initial assessment, we counted the affected volumes and made on-site risk assessment, it was difficult to count the affected volumes because it was difficult to see how many volumes were infested until each was pulled from the shelf and assessed. The largest concentration of insects were found in the bindings, they seemed to be attracted to the glue. We used flash lights to assess if there were any infestations attached to spine cloth. If anything was detected we removed the covers, cleaned the spine and reattached new spine lining. Old spine stiffeners and book cloth were removed and replaced. Planning, communication and organization were a key to success. Luckily, we have a disaster supply plan and a large supply of conservation disaster materials if the need arises and we were able to utilize the materials and resources required to address the problem. To begin work we needed: 1. Large zip lock bags to place every item in; 2. Crates; 3. Gloves/masks; 4. Van to transport books/papers to freezer. Due to the number of items infested we recommended freezing, both to kill the insects and give us time to get staff and materials in order to begin the cleaning. We were used to dealing with insects and their effects in small numbers, but we had never seen infestation to this extent concentrated into one area. The project was a challenge both logistically and practically but it was comforting to note there was no lasting damage to the items and no resurgence was noted. Submitted by Marianne Hanley, Syracuse University Libraries

avatar for Marianne S. Hanley

Marianne S. Hanley

Preservation Librarian, Syracuse University
Marianne S. Hanley is the Preservation Librarian for Syracuse University Libraries, a position she has held since 2013. In this capacity she is responsible for managing the general collections preservation laboratory, including budget, grant programs, staffing, materials repair and... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower

Attendees (60)