Late Winter RRN newsletter
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Rapid Response Network Newsletter

Please share this email with colleagues in your organisation, it contains useful links for the RRN and will help to make more people aware of the important resources provided by the network.
Hello and welcome to the latest RRN newsletter,

We hope this finds you well and that you and your collections came through the worst of winter fine.  This newsletter contains opportunities to become involved with the RRN committee as well as a meet the member section. If you or a colleague would like to be more involved with the RRN, please get in touch! If you know of anyone in your organisation who is looking to add to their CPD and develop new skills, please forward this newsletter on.
Please do write to us at to submit case studies and information about how you manage your emergency planning; all of this is useful for other members. 

The RRN kit and training is there for members to prepare for such obstacles and hopefully minimise damage to collections.
We hope that you won't need to use the kits, but if you do you can find all of the member information on our website

Thank you for supporting the RRN; we couldn't function without your important memberships.
RRN Committee

Treasurer needed  urgently

Due to unforeseen circumstances it is, with regret, that our Treasurer, Suzanne Dalewicsz-Kitto has had to stand down.  We send her our thanks and good wishes.  We all want to see the RRN remain operational so we need someone to step up as a replacement and commit for at least a year. Please send expressions of interest to

Help needed at Bradford Special Collections

If all goes to plan, Special Collections at the University of Bradford will be transformed in 2016 - moving from outdated 1970s premises to facilities designed for a modern archive service.  Exciting times!  However, also very challenging to maintain service and protect collections and end up with spaces that work.  Is anyone in RRN interested in sharing experience in this area - whatever stage you are at?    Maybe some shared visits to new buildings or informal meetings to discuss experiences?  Do let me know if this is of interest.  Alison Cullingford

What’s eating your collection?

Developed by our colleagues in the West Midlands, together with pest expert, David Pinniger, the ‘What’s Eating Your Collections’ website is a great tool for getting you on track with all things pest-related. There’s a searchable database of pest records stretching back to the 1970s as well as information on risk management, pest identification and sources of help. We hear there’s also an associated iPhone app.
Archetype Publications has also announced the forthcoming publication of David Pinniger’s Integrated pest management for cultural heritage, (due February 2015), a full-colour guide to the identification, monitoring and control of pests in collections. Further details of the publication, as well as a one day IPM workshop lead by the author at Bletchley Park, 26th March 2015, can be found on Archetype’s website.

Meet the member

Here at Leeds University Library, we’ve been thinking about our capacity to air dry wet objects, following a training day with Emma Dadson of disaster recovery specialists, Harwell Document Restoration Services.
We all know air drying needs a lot of space so we decided to try to estimate how much material we can accommodate in the spaces we had identified as potentially useful for emergency salvage and what might be the triggers or ‘red flags’ for calling in extra help from Harwell.

We began with Emma’s figures for air drying books: a table of 1.5 x 0.75 metres can accommodate 20 books/20 photographs/200 individual paper sheets.  This was, in fact, tested empirically in a small wet emergency that had affected approximately sixty of our library books.  We found that it was not simply a case of calculating the entire floor area of the rooms earmarked for air drying in our emergency plan and extrapolating from Emma’s figures.  Instead, we used our emergency to help us consider the actual space needed to work effectively and provide access to the books during the drying process.  We also considered how tables could provide extra drying surfaces, effectively doubling capacity in a given area. In reality, we concluded that 20 books needs more like three square metres of floor space. We have used this figure to calculate the amount of books that can fit into spaces designated for air drying in our plan.
In addition, we’ve decided that we can only deal with very small numbers of wet documents or flat objects (due to space capacity and the possibility of getting documents out of order).  We have also noted the pinch points where we will have to call in extra help.  It has been a useful exercise and still a work in progress.  It is very much aimed at library and archival collections so if anyone has been doing something similar, it would be great to develop this further into a resource for the wider membership to reflect the diversity of our collections. The document will be available on the RRN website. Feedback can be sent to
Sharon Connell


The RRN is about working co-operatively and sharing experience for the benefit of all members. ‘Meet the Membership’ is a chance for you to share news of emergency planning developments or innovations or anything else you think members would be interested to hear. Don’t wait to be invited! Please send your submissions for future newsletters to:

Don't forget to follow us on twitter! @YorksRRN
We won't respond to this in an emergency though so make sure you have the RRN contacts handy.
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