The Library strives to maintain a physical environment which balances the optimum conditions for people with those needed for preservation of the Library collection. An ideal preservation climate for books (15-18 degrees celsius at 40% humidity) would be much too cold for a reasonable study temperature, which in addition to being wasteful would be counter to the Library's mission.
As such, the Library and the Facilities Management Office (FMO) work closely together to maintain a much more acceptable temperature between 22-24 degrees celsius, with a humidity level of 55-60%, for the majority of our Library users.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to keep the temperature constant, given the variant outdoor conditions – especially in term of humidity, which can quickly enhance the growth of mold in the collection. In addition, we have found that the existing air handling system requires frequent adjustments to maintain these levels in all areas of the building.
Library staff periodically measure the temperature and humidity in different areas of the building, and whenever a library user informs us of a particularly cold area we work with FMO to get conditions re-balanced as soon as possible.
Edward F Spodick, IT and Services Infrastructure Manager
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Library