Fundamentals of Preservation

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

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.

Course Level & Prerequisites

This is a fundamentals course with no prerequisites.

Course Syllabus


  • Karen E. K. Brown, Preservation Librarian, State University of New York - Albany
  • Donia Conn, Preservation Consultant for Cultural Heritage Collections
  • Kate Contakos, Head of Preservation, Stanford University
  • Andy Hart, Head, Preservation Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Julie Mosbo, William and Susan Ouren Preservation Librarian, Texas A&M University Libraries
  • Jacob Nadal, Director of Library and Archives, The Brooklyn Historical Society
  • Annie Peterson, Preservation Librarian, Tulane University
  • Holly Robertson, Preservation Consultant, Washington D.C.
  • Roger Smith, University of California - San Diego
  • Peter D. Verheyen, Syracuse University Library

Dates & Times

2014 Sessions

  • Session 1:  March 10 – April 4
  • Session 2:  May 12 – June 6
  • Session 3:  August 18 – September 12
  • Session 4:  October 20 – November 14

Online chat sessions will be scheduled regularly throughout the four-week course.


8 contact hours.

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


$109 ALCTS Members; $139 Non-Members

Technical 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.


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


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