Florida record keepers turn to Web for recovery info

Disaster Recovery for Public Records Custodians, Archives and Libraries

Florida officials are using the Web to get information and resources to state libraries and archives dealing with soaked collections after Hurricane Charley passed through last week.

Charley wreaked devastation across a broad swath of Southwest Florida, and houses and offices were not the only things damaged. Officials at the state Division of Library and Information Services turned to the Web as the most effective way to get recovery information out to people statewide. As part of the Florida Department of State, the division handles information for all state agencies and the Legislature and coordinates with public libraries to preserve state history.

Among other details, the disaster recovery site includes information on dealing with mold and mildew that run rampant with wet paper and with the differences between large vs. small collections. The site also has links to experts in Florida and at the national level and to recovery services specializing in everything from data recovery to dehumidification.

The Web site also has a chart, available in PDF, which outlines document recovery techniques for all media that an archive might hold. This includes a general time frame for taking action, steps that should not be taken, and the most effective methods for drying and restoring materials.

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