Permanent storage facility found for MU's moldy books

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 8:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — MU Libraries has found a permanent storage facility just east of Exit 121 on Interstate 70 for the 600,000 books affected by mold last fall.

The contractor hired to repair the moldy books was also announced at the MU Faculty Council meeting Thursday. Belfor, a global disaster recovery and property restoration company, will handle the remediation process at its Texas site.

The process will begin almost immediately, said classical studies professor Dan Hooley, who heads the Faculty Council committee working with MU Libraries. The name of the storage facility was not immediately available Thursday afternoon.

Both the clean and infected books will be moved into the storage facility by June 1, Hooley said. There will be a separate space for the infected books until they are all cleaned, after which the space will be fumigated so it can be used for storage.

Some 600,000 books and journals stored in a northern Columbia cavern fell victim to high humidity. About 400,000 of these will be saved, and the rest will be available online, Hooley said at a Faculty Council meeting April 3.

Other items

Total Rewards: Betsy Rodriguez, University of Missouri System vice president of human resources, was at the meeting to present eight recommendations for the university's Total Rewards package to the council.

Total Rewards includes UM's compensation, benefits, wellness and retirement programs. Last June, a task force was charged with coming up with suggestions for improvements.

Some of the recommendations are:

  • Treating pay and benefits as interrelated parts of the overall Total Rewards strategy.
  • Establishing a benefits rate cap.
  • Utilizing medical plan options to encourage healthy behavior and efficient use of health care services.
  • Leveraging marketplace opportunities for retiree medical benefits.
  • Evaluating staff time-off plans.

Child care facility: In light of the June 30 closing of University Village and Student Parent Center there, the council debated how much of a priority a child care facility for faculty and staff is. No conclusion was reached.

The structural integrity of the the buildings came into question after a walkway collapsed Feb. 22, killing Lt. Bruce Britt of the Columbia Fire Department.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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