ASBURY (AP) — Hundreds of water-soaked library books in eastern Iowa are in a deep-freeze while officials figure out how to save the publications.
The Telegraph-Herald reports the books were damaged Feb. 1 when a pipe burst in the Dubuque County Library’s branch in Asbury. Officials estimate about 10 percent of the branch’s 18,000 books became soaked.
When books get wet, they must be frozen within hours to prevent the growth of mold.
The books were first moved to a refrigerated semi-trailer provided by Hy-Vee, which could accommodate the books for a few days. About 50 volunteers then carried the books to another trailer provided by Hirschbach Motor Lines, a Dubuque-based transportation company.
“I am ecstatic that they stepped up to help,” Library district Director Michael Wright said. “It didn’t surprise me that much. I know we live in a terrific community where people want to help.”
Wright said some of the books will be dried with fans, some might go to a specialized freeze dryer and some will be thrown away.
Crews were making repairs at the library, and Wright said it probably will remain closed through February and maybe longer.
Kyle Alexander, operations manager at Hirschbach, said it took some work to make the trailer available, but he’s happy the company could help.
“Whenever you lose an asset, there are some adjustments you have to make,” he said. “But this was a high priority. It was very important for us.”