In wake of summer floods, UWS library recovers its collectionLast June’s major floods damaged 200,000 books and documents at the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Jim Dan Hill Library; now, campus officials are trying to figure out how to replace the collection.
By: By Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Last June’s major floods damaged 200,000 books and documents at the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Jim Dan Hill Library; now, campus officials are trying to figure out how to replace the collection.
So far, they have collected 5,000 print books and 200,000 e-books since the flood. They have only had limited success to save the warped books by freeze-drying them.
Almost a century of ruined school newspapers and yearbooks have been digitized. Now, Chancellor Renée Wachter says they’re trying to rebuild their print collection.
“And that’s been a very interesting process,” she said. “You know, you have all of these books and you assume you know what they’re worth until they’re actually gone, and then you’re trying to place an assessment on them. And it’s been very interesting in working with other libraries throughout the country, to talk about, ‘How do you assess the value of a book?’”
For instance, they’ve discovered that math and science books are more valuable than a Dickens novel.
“It was kind of funny,” Wachter said. “We found one that was the history of Wisconsin that was dated around the turn of the century. How do you value that?”
Once they find that value, the hope is that the insurance company agrees.