• Libraries, Museums & Art Galleries

Whether in the room of a private house or a public building, libraries are regarded as important buildings which can hold significant volumes and collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music, organised systematically and kept for research, reference or borrowing.

The importance of the ventilation design in controlling the environment in which museum and library collections are stored should be clearly understood. There are a number of factors that can affect library & museum collections, in particular:

Temperature - Rises in temperature will affect the deterioration rate of organic products in museum and library environments, and it is recommended temperatures are maintained between 65° and 75°F throughout the year, allowing seasonal fluctuations between the two extremes, but holding daily fluctuations ±5°F.

Humidity - is most often associated with an increased probability of mould growth and other forms of bio deterioration. Levels at 60% Relative Humidity (RH) should be considered the threshold for damage. Variations in RH can loosen furniture joints, cause paint to chip from and promote degradative chemical reactions. Metals will corrode, many dyes and inks will fade, and even glass and mineral collections can be damaged. it is recommended maintaining relative humidity between 40% and 55% throughout the year, allowing seasonal fluctuations between the two extremes, but holding daily fluctuations to ±3%.

Particulate Content of museum air will also affect preservation. Particulates are common hosts for mould, are often abrasive, and may permanently soil collections. Particulates also increase user discomfort and increase maintenance costs.

Gaseous Contaminants - such as oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide can attack organic materials by conversion to acids, while ozone is a powerful oxidant, severely damaging all organic material. Other gaseous pollutants, such as fonnaldehyde, may be off-gassing from storage cabinets, shelves or glues within the museum /library.

By providing adequate ventilation rates, this will avoid stagnant air, and inhibit the growth of mould and mildew. Ventilation is critically important for libraries and museums, since it not only ensures the health and well-being of staff and patrons but also helps to minimise the potential for mould outbreaks by providing adequate circulation of the air. Stagnant air can promote mould growth and should be correctly attended to in the ventilation design.

Elta Fans provide a wide range of ventilation products for libraries & museums, many designed around the requirement for low noise levels due to the environmental conditions that library and museum staff are working in, so for more information, please look at examples of typical products that could be used for these applications, or alternatively, please contact us to discuss your specific application requirement.