Companies help Iowa library put soaked books in deep freeze

Fans and dehumidifiers are set up in the Asbury Library on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, after a pipe burst inside on Friday. (Allison Wong, KCRG-TV9)
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ASBURY, Iowa (AP) - Hundreds of water-soaked library books in eastern Iowa are in a deep-freeze while officials figure out how to save the publications.

The Telegraph-Herald reports the books were damaged Feb. 1 when a pipe burst in the Dubuque County Library's branch in Asbury. Officials estimate about 10 percent of the branch's 18,000 books became soaked.

When books get wet, they must be frozen within hours to prevent the growth of mold.

The books were first moved to a refrigerated semi-trailer provided by Hy-Vee and then carried to another trailer provided by Hirschbach Motor Lines, a Dubuque-based transportation company.

Library district Director Michael Wright says some of the books will be dried with fans, some might go to a specialized freeze dryer and some will be thrown away.