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close this book Prevention and treatment of mold in library collections with an emphasis on tropical climates: A RAMP study
close this folder 4. Prevention
Open this folder and view contents 4.1 Building design and modification
Open this folder and view contents 4.2 Interior modifications in existing facilities
View the document 4.3 Stack maintenance
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4.3 Stack maintenance

Routine cleaning and maintenance lack glamour in every library, however it is particularly important where environmental control is lacking. When natural ventilation is used to maintain adequate circulation, dirt and dust is a constant problem. Since these particles are hygroscopic, attracting and holding moisture from the air, and since they often contain nutrients required by molds, the constant cleaning of stack areas is essential in tropical climates. Vacuuming will also reduce, even if only temporarily, the number of spores on materials. In savanna climates, a thorough cleaning just before the rainy season may eliminate outbreaks of mold altogether.

A routine schedule for vacuuming of all books in the stacks on an annual basis (or as often as possible) should be established and maintained. Frequent inspection of the stack areas is also important, particularly little used sections and storage areas.