There are a great deal of resources to help you plan for monitoring and responding to water leaks that affect your collections. But there aren’t so many guides about how to do so effectively when your facility may be closed and when few staff, if any, can periodically walk through and visually monitor collections areas.

Even in normal times, every institution has different capacities to develop and keep up a monitoring program, whether it’s automated and accessible off-site, or with staff or patron walk-throughs for periodic checks on storage areas. But during the COVID crisis, monitoring the space for leaks takes on some additional importance, as small leaks can remain unchecked and have greater potential to turn into big collections disasters.

You can read how an effective monitoring plan for closed spaces worked to make sure a recent leak had minimal impact in Duke University Libraries Preservation Underground recent post, “Disaster response when campus is closed.” Some excellent photos of their response and salvage are included.

One final note about monitoring and responding to water leaks during this pandemic and stay-at-home guidance, is to double-check the availability and capacity of your disaster recovery vendor.