Eastern Academic Scholars Trust Project Team receives the 2019 Cunha-Swartzburg Preservation Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/19/2019


Julie Reese

Deputy Executive Director



CHICAGO—The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Jury for the George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award has selected the Eastern Academic Scholars Trust (EAST) Project Team as the 2019 recipient. The award, sponsored by Hollinger Metal Edge, will be presented during the ALCTS Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in Washington, D.C. The award includes a citation and a $1,250 monetary award.

Established in 2007, the award honors the memory of George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg, early leaders in cooperative preservation programming and strong advocates for collaboration in the field of preservation. The award acknowledges and supports cooperative preservation projects and rewards individuals or groups that foster collaboration for preservation goals.

This team, which is composed of Susan Stearns, Sara Amato, Mei Mendez and Matthew Revitt, is the embodiment of cooperation working toward a common goal. They played a critical role in enabling the growth of EAST, one of the largest shared print programs in North America, and acted as leaders and innovators in collaborative efforts to preserve print library collections, which is critical as libraries across the country are under pressure to divest their physical collections.

EAST’s mission is to protect the print scholarly record from this and ensure the availability of print materials for scholars, students, and faculty now and in the future. They have done this by creating a consortium of libraries across the northeast who work together to systematically verify how many print copies remain available for access. All participants in the project were required to analyze their general collections holdings for scarcity and then accept retention commitments that insure the preservation and access of all items that they agree to retain.

In the four years since EASTS’s inception as a distributed program of shared print retention, this project team has helped to grow the project to over 60 libraries in 11 states of varying sizes and focuses with over 20 million holdings. This team of leaders worked closely with the project’s partners to educate, advise and assist them with holdings comparisons and data analysis. They introduced an assessment component to the process that evaluated the physical condition of materials so that information could be taken in to consideration during the process. Additionally, they raised awareness for their project and emerged as advocates for collaborative print collection preservation and access. 

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.