Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Iowa Floods

Just a quick note on the weather and its effects on special collections operations. Yesterday morning I saw a note in an Iowa paper about state archives being moved from the lower levels of buildings to escape the oncoming flood waters. This afternoon I spotted a note in the U of Iowa blog that stated: "Some Special Collections materials stored in the Main Library’s lower level are in the process of being moved as a precaution against a rising water level. This shift in location may make some collections difficult or impossible to retrieve through the duration of the flood."

I have family in the Iowa City area and Mason City, both of which have been hit by floods (I'm wondering how the Music Man Museum is holding up in Mason City as I write this). My sister-in-law lives near the Coralville reservoir and according to the folks from the government that monitor water levels, the reservoir was at 105% of capacity as of yesterday morning, with all that water headed towards Iowa City and the university.

So this promps a general question: how many of us have stuff stored in lower levels of buildings where there's a history or potential threat of flooding? I just have too many bad memories on this front: getting caught in flood waters when the Chicago River came pouring into some of my basement space (in an earlier job), the water main break that hit the Chicago Historical Society, the North Dakota floods that hit the universities up there in the late 1990s. . . the list can go on.

So here's a shout out to Sid and the other folks at U of I libraries, archives, and special collections: hang in there! Here's hoping and praying for a little less rain and the lowering of water levels in your neck of the woods.

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