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Frequently Asked Questions


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Are food and drinks in the library a danger to materials?

Food stains permanently damage books, carpeting, and furniture. Crumbs attract pests that can infest the building. Books dampened by a spill and put back on a shelf may grow mold that will endanger other materials. Oils and beverages such as coffee or tea will permanently stain paper. Patrons may be charged fees for damaging library materials with food stains, so please keep food and drink away from your books.

Can you fix my book?

The conservation lab provides service only for items owned by Milner Library and other Illinois libraries. Professional conservators may be located through the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).Visit the AIC website

Can you bind my thesis?

All theses and dissertations acquired by Milner Library are shipped to the Library by the Graduate School and then bound. Individual graduates interested in having personal copies of a thesis or dissertation bound should contact Milner Bindery Staff for information about who can provide this service. Contact Deb Shambrook at (309)438-5361.

My basement flooded! How do I dry my books?

For Milner Library books: Place wet book in a plastic bag and return it to the library immediately. Never leave a wet book in book drop or on a shelf, hand it directly to a library staff person.

For personal items: Books wet by clean water may be dried at home. Wet paper is fragile, so handle with extreme care. Place saturated books upright on absorbent paper to drain, and reverse their position (top to bottom) every few hours until they stop draining. Fan wet books open and let them stand in gently circulating air from an electric fan. Single sheets or pamphlets may be hung on a line to dry. Mold growth is a risk after 72 hours so be sure to monitor all areas of books closely for any discoloration. Books soaked with dirty water from a waste pipe or contaminated with mud or silt should be wrapped in waxed paper, bagged and frozen. Consult a professional conservator for further care.

Refer to The Northeast Document Conservation Center wet book salvage instructions for further information.

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Milner Library
Campus Box 8900
201 North School St.
Normal, Il 61790-8900
Phone: 309.438.3451

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Last Updated: 11/21/14