About Us

Preservation Unit 
425 Library, MC-522
UIUC Library
1408 West Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801

Conservation Lab 
Oak St. Library Facility
OSLF, 2nd Floor
809 South Oak Street
Mail Code 527
Champaign, IL 61820

Conclusions, Recommendations, and References

The most probable disasters were determined to be tornado, flood, and leaks caused by the facilities wet pipe system and other sources. Fire was deemed a low risk due to the temperature of the facility, the tight packing of materials, and the low airflow between shelves. Earthquakes, while present in Illinois, have virtually no chance of affecting the books since the shelves are rated for a magnitude of 4.0 and Champaign County has not experienced anything higher than a 3.2, almost 10 times less energy.  Train derailment had a defect ratio of 80 derailments per one billion trains.  This is such a small probability that preventative measures could not be justified. According to this risk assessment, the total liability of these disasters is $11,450 per year. By implementing the team’s recommendations, the facility can save $1,832 per year in liability.

The final recommendations focus on the recovery of high priority materials, which comprises 3% of the total collections. This process insures that the highest value is removed from the facility first for immediate restoration following a disaster. Mold and further damage is prone to happen following a disaster in the first 24 hours so it is critical that early removal be focused on these materials. Through analysis using the retrieval algorithm, a maximum of $121,533,000 can be removed in approximately 9 hours given continuous work, or $3,729 per second. This recovery time is for the random locations of “red” materials in the first module and will utilize the output created by the algorithm.

Any future high priority materials received by the facility should also be located in the designated safe zones described earlier.  The greedy algorithm showed a minimum reduction in time of locating “red” materials in this manner of one hour as opposed to random storage of these materials. This reduction of time is directly associated with eliminating the travel time of the lift between locations. This time also increases with the number of materials that are stored in this fashion compared to the first in storage method in the first module. The capacity of the lift should also be maximized to significantly reduce the recovery time of the red high priority materials. The current Raymond lift has custom fitted shelves to place books on but can be expanded to hold a larger capacity.

These solutions also reduce the preliminary planning and locating of materials during the recovery process since all high priority materials are noted on the shelving layouts. The MatLab output also outlines the recovery locations specifically, further reducing downtime (shown in Appendix I). Preliminary estimates of planning time was 440 hours according to previous BMS CAT recovery efforts at UIUC and this time will be significantly reduced seeing that much of their work will have been completed.
Intellectual control of the special collection materials will be maintained using the Microsoft Access printout along with the shelf layouts and algorithm output. All the information will be present for knowing which trays need to be collected at what location and this can be used as a checklist.  Maintaining intellectual control while collecting general collection requires the materials to be collected by zones with respective markings to know their location. All materials that leave the facility must be scanned out by the LAS to indicate that they have been removed from the facility for recovery. Any materials that need to be treated immediately should be moved upstairs to the facility’s conservation lab and not scanned out.



A major goal of the project was to define the recovery procedure in the event of a disaster affecting the facility and to recommend early detection measures to aid in the recovery procedure.  These recommendations are outlined below:

Early Detection and Hardware

  1. A Series 2100 Dorlen Water Detection System made by Dorlen Products Inc. should be installed on top of the racks in each module where there are piping and sprinklers located above. A quote from Dorlen (for 1 module) is shown in Appendix H. Independent water sensors should also be located against the interior wall 1-2 inches above the floor to detect any flooding that may occur that is not noticeable.
  2. Ionized smoke detectors should be located in the return air ductwork on the HVAC system.
  3. Nitrogen tanks and a pipe system to aid the wet pipe system in extinguishing a fire. Oxygen sensors should be included to monitor oxygen levels and ensure they stay within safe levels. A 235 ft3 tank is required for each module to adequately reduce oxygen levels to 15%, and may be purchased from Air Liquide (708)-482-8400.
  4. Temperature sensors that communicate with the wet pipe system to distinguish between a sprinkler malfunction or leak and an actual fire. As “smart” systems become more widely available, they should be considered for use in future modules.
  5. To maintain a constant temperature and humidity after a disaster, a generator that rated for 460V/3ph/270A should be acquired by the facility. This may be rented when needed and not purchased due to cost constraints.
  6. Two moveable stair ladders with overhead protection should be purchased by the facility based on the team’s design shown in Appendix D. Vendors contacted by the team were unwilling to customize existing stair ladders to provide protection, but the design and specifications have been submitted to UIUC Ironworks for fabrication.
  7. Special collection trays should utilize alternative materials to prevent rapid deterioration in the event of a water disaster. In addition, trays should have barcodes on each end, to prevent the loss of intellectual control.

Recovery Procedure and Facility Layout

  1. The location of special collection materials in the first module will remain the same and recovery be done according to the greedy algorithm output. 
  2. Any further special collections that come into the facility will be located in designated safe zones that are between the third and eleventh row and no further than the fourteenth ladder. These zones will also be spread across several aisles in order to mitigate risk in the event that a certain aisle is damaged from a disaster. These locations will be finalized by John Andrick and will begin in the second module and continue in any further expansions of the facility.
  3. General collection materials, along with yellow and green special collection materials, should be collected based on the zone layout shown in Appendix F. As the zones are removed from the facility, all trays at each individual location should be labeled to separate it from the next location, this can be as simple as writing on the box with marker.
  4. Capacity on the current lift should be maximized as opposed to purchasing an additional lift, which would not be utilized during normal operations of the facility. The facility should contact other similar high density storage facilities to borrow other lifts in the case of a disaster, and the completed disaster recovery plan for the facility will identify possible candidates. An additional battery should also be obtained for disaster recovery using the current Raymond lift. In the case of a damaged lift, contact Charlie Kesseler with Allied Handling at 309-208-4112.




  1. Lyons, Walter A (1997). "Tornadoes". The Handy Weather Answer Book (2nd ed.). Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink press. pp. gs. 175–200.
  2. NOAA National Weather Service, “Tornadoes in Champaign County” (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx/?n=champaign-tor)
  3. St. Charles County Department of Emergency Management, “New Madrid Fault” (http://www.scchealth.org/docs/ems/docs/prepare/newMadrid.html) and the Illinois Geological Survey, UIUC
  4. [Reliable Sprinklers Co. (http://www.reliablesprinklers.com)
  5. Trinkley, Michael. A Reconnaissance Preservation Assessment of the University of Illinois Library, Urbana-Champaign. Chicora Foundation, 2001.
  6. Fike Corporation (http://www.fike.com/products/fshfc.asp)