Fundamentals of Preservation

Monday, 8/3/2015 - Friday, 8/28/2015
Monday, 10/5/2015 - Friday, 10/30/2015

Description: Four-week online course that introduces participants to the principles, policies and practices of preservation in libraries and archives. It is designed to inform all staff, across divisions and departments and at all levels of responsibility. Provides tools to begin extending the useful life of library collections.

Course components:

  • Preservation as a formal library function, and how it reflects and supports the institutional mission.
  • The primary role of preventive care, including good storage conditions, emergency planning, and careful handling of collections.
  • The history and manufacture of physical formats and how this impacts on preservation options.
  • Standard methods of care and repair, as well as reformatting options.
  • Challenges in preserving digital content and what the implications are for the future of scholarship.

Format:  Students receive login instructions one week prior to the course start date.  Students have 24/7 access to the course site for the four-week period, and aside from assignment and quiz deadlines, the course may be completed at their own pace.  Instructors provide guidance and feedback as students work their way through the course material.  Weekly, instructor-moderated chat sessions are the only live course events that students are asked to attend.

Weekly Chat Schedule:  The following times are tentative and may change according to instructor availability.

Week One: Thursday at 3:00 pm CDT
Week Two: Tuesday at 10:00 am CDT
Week Three: Friday at 2:00 pm CDT
Week Four: Wednesday at 11:00 am CDT

2015 Schedule: The course is offered several times each year.  Sessions tend to sell out weeks in advance.

  • Session 1:  February 23 – March 20  CLOSED
  • Session 2:  April 20 – May 15  CLOSED
  • Session 3: August 3 – August 28
  • Session 4: October 5– October 30

2016 Schedule: Next year's schedule will be announced in December. Add your name to our Web Course Notification List to receive ALCTS web course announcements.

Learning Outcomes

Students will gain a solid introduction to the principles, policies, and practices of preservation in libraries and archives.

Who Should Attend

Designed to inform all staff, across divisions and departments and at all levels of responsibility. Provides tools to begin extending the useful life of library collections. Taking a web course is different than taking a traditional course in a classroom. Read Are You Ready for Online Learning to make sure the web course structure is right for you.


  • Donia Conn is Preservation Consultant for Cultural Heritage Collections.
  • Dawn Aveline is Preservation Officer at UCLA Library.
  • Karen O'Connell is Preservation Coordinator at Georgetown University Library.
  • Julie Mosbo is William and Susan Ouren Preservation Librarian at Texas A&M University Libraries.
  • Jacob Nadal is Executive Director, ReCAP, Princeton University Library.
  • Annie Peterson is Preservation Librarian at Tulane University.
  • Roger Smith is at University of California - San Diego.
  • Peter D. Verheyen is at Syracuse University Library.



$109 ALCTS members; $139 nonmembers

How to Register

To register, complete the online form or register by mail for the session you would like to attend.

Registration Deadline

Registration for each course is limited to 20 people. For courses that are not sold out, online and fax registration ends at 12 noon CDT on the Monday before the course begins. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked by two Mondays prior to the course start date.

Cancelation & Change Policy

Any requests for cancelation or changes to registration must be received in writing by ALCTS or the ALA registration department (MACS) no later than 7 days prior to the start of the course and are subject to a $40 processing fee.

Tech Requirements

A Moodle-developed site is composed of self-paced modules with facilitated interaction led by the instructors. There are predetermined start and end dates and a suggested pace which include interaction with the instructors and your classmates. Students regularly use the forum and chat room functions to facilitate their class participation. Section quizzes are offered and feedback given, however, there is no final class grade.

The course web site will be open for 1 week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. The course site will remain open 1 week after the end date for students to complete any sections and submit the course evaluation survey.


Certificates of completion are sent upon successful completion (passing score of 70% or higher) of the course.

This course is one-third of the Collection Management Elective course approved by the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP). Collection Management Elective FAQ


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or