MU Library still recovering from 2013 mold outbreak

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COLUMBIA - Crews were working Wednesday morning to get shelves ready for books returning to the University of Missouri. 

But MU Director of Libraries Jim Cogswell said it could be months before all of the books are back in circulation.

In October 2013 mold was discovered on more than 600,000 printed books and journals that were being stored in a cavern. The books and journals were shipped off to receive special treatment.

Cogswell said there are still 140,000 books in Texas getting treated, but he expects them back within the next month. When they return, he said each book will have to get individually inspected.

Library Depository Manager Brain Cain said the depository staff is working to build shelving to accommodate the books at an off-site location. Cain estimated it will take 8-12 weeks to build the shelves.

He said it could take another month for the books to be added to the catalog and put in circulation. Cain said this final step will require extra staffing and additional funding. 

"I am shocked at how well this project has gone. There were a lot of things that needed to fall into place in order for the result we have gotten to actually be accomplished," Cain said.

Cogswell said the library is applying for a one-time grant that would speed up the process.