PARS Committee and Interest Group Reports

Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Committees

Executive Committee


  • PARS continued to experiment with hybrid meetings.
  1. At PARS All-Committee, we used Google+ to connect the Executive Committee with a virtual member.
  2. The PARS program “Brittle Book Strategies for the 21st Century” utilized GoTo Webinar to include a speaker (audio and PowerPoint slides) from a geographically separate location.
  • The PARS Digital Preservation IG worked with the new ACRL Digital Curation IG and two other PARS Interest Groups to coordinate their speakers and programs at Annual 2012. Publicity emails and a flyer highlighted this confluence.
  • The successful PARS program “Brittle Book Strategies for the 21st Century” will be followed by an ALCTS e-forum in July 2012.
  • The Preservation Week Working Group reports that the Music Library Association wants to be involved in the 2013 effort. We are excited to work with an organization beyond ALA.


  • Reviewed and discussed the report from our Emerging Leaders team, which explored the ways that PARS can involve its members, keep its committees productive, and advance its overall mission while accommodating members’ changing conference attendance patterns. Action items were generated from the report’s recommendations, several of which relate to virtual participation (highlighted in the ALCTS strategic plan).
  • Reviewed and discussed the report from the Minimum Digitization Capture Task Force. Recommended that it be posted for comment during fall 2012 and then finalized, published/posted online, and publicized.
  • Holly Robertson presented preliminary results of her survey gauging interest in collecting preservation statistics now that the ARL Preservation Statistics have been discontinued. She will publicize the survey a bit wider to gather more input, then will be joined by a task force to take next steps.

Nominating Committee

The ALCTS 2012 election slate was approved by the ALCTS Board in early January.

Rebecca Ryder was elected Chair-elect for PARS 2012–2015. Hilary Seo was elected to serve as Member at Large 2012–2015. Andy Hart (PARS) ran for President of ALCTS but was unsuccessful in taking the race.

New Members Working Group

As has been our routine, we communicated via e-mail prior to the conference and then held our New Members Welcoming Table at Saturday morning’s Preservation Administrators Interest Group. Only one new member approached us and received information regarding PARS.

Prior to Annual, we

  • Updated Quick Guide and rosters prior to Annual
  • Sent welcoming e-mail as well as Quick Guide to PARS and roster of current interest groups and committees to 212 new members of PARS

In the future, all members of this group (we were the founding members) are cycling off. Chair will update the ALA Connect page, and will communicate personally with new Chair to offer informal assistance.

As response was rather tepid this year, would advise partnering with the New Members Roundtable and other new member oriented groups in ALCTS to increase the visibility of the group and see whether this increases response. We also suggest establishing a Facebook page or some other social networking tool in order to increase visibility.

Preservation Standards and Practices Committee

Digital Conversion Interest Group: There were 49 attendees to hear about Dartmouth and Delaware’s initial steps into digital curation. The approaches were somewhat different, but the main theme was that significant steps can be made even if there are limited resources. There were numerous questions for the speakers.

Book and Paper Interest Group. Between 30 and 40 people attended a panel discussion about mass de-acidification. There were speakers from the Library of Congress, Northwestern, Stanford, the Folger, and Penn State. De-acidification continues to prove as an effective treatment and some institutions are just beginning their programs.

Digital Preservation Interest Group. Sixty attendees attended the session titled “Web-Based Digital Preservation Practice: It’s not just for web pages anymore.” It included three speakers from the State Library of North Carolina, the Internet Archive, and Springer talking about various tools for gathering and preserving born digital content on the web.

Minimum Digitization Capture Guidelines Task Force. The task force compiled a document recommending digitization guidelines. PARS Executive Council approved the draft and it will be posted on ALA Connect for comment before it is finalized.

Preservation Week Working Group

Committee Succession Schedule

  • Miriam Centeno to start as new chair on 7/1/12
  • All documentation will be updated to ALA Connect for future reference
  • Still need a couple more volunteers for the committee; PWWG would like to outreach to other ALCTS divisions and organizations for possible members.

Preservation Week 2012

  • We plan on completing a web crawl to capture the 2012 events not listed in the Google Maps events page. So far more than 100 events have been counted.
  • We have sent out a survey asking those who hosted a Preservation Week event to give us information about how their event went, what kind of event it was, and whether or not they used the tools/information that is currently posted on the website. This will help us determine what we might need to revise or what kind of new information might be needed for future preservation weeks.
  • Our two webinars were well received, “Taking Care: Textiles” and “Preserving Your Personal Digital Photographs.” Past webinars for Preservation Week were also view during this past year, clearly indicating that archiving the webinars is important to keep doing.

Going Forward to Preservation Week 2013

  • The new Events Map Tool is ready. Users will enter information but entries would be vetted by ALCTS to prevent tampering. There is a 48- to 72-hour turnaround time for info to appear on map.
  • We hope to develop partnerships with other organizations and events. Several have already come forward to discuss working together.
  • Webinar topics for 2013 are being developed. They will most likely be centered on wartime correspondence. Sponsors for the webinars will be sought out early on.
  • We will have a Preservation Week booth at Midwinter in Seattle.
  • To help advertise Preservation Week further, we will focus on placing ads in newsletters, sending reminders earlier in the fiscal year, and seeking out publications for articles.
  • ALCTS is currently checking on who will be the national spokesperson for Preservation Week 2013.

Program, Planning, and Publications (PPP) Committee

The PARS Program, Planning and Publications Committee (PPP) met Monday morning at the PARS All Committee Meeting. The meeting included reports from liaisons, review of recent and upcoming programs and publications, and discussion of several important initiatives.

Liaison reports included updates from the ALCTS Publication Committee on a new task force to promote publishing within ALCTS; the ALCTS Planning Committee on the ALCTS Strategic Plan; and ALCTS Program Committee on changes in conference program/event scheduling. In addition, the Promoting Preservation Interest Group discussed Preservation Week and other topics.

Review of Past Programs and Publications

The group discussed the Promoting Preservation Interest Group’s Annual program on Preservation Week. Speakers discussed the activities they had planned for their respective institutions, followed by extensive audience discussion. The committee discussed the need for an informal publication or blog called a “Guide to Preservation Week” that would document past activities and serve as a how-to for other institutions.

The Preservation Education Directory, 9th edition, was published on the ALCTS website earlier this year. Efforts are under way to disseminate the directory as broadly as possible. Announcements have been posted to ALA Connect and numerous preservation and archival web sites, electronic mailing lists, and blogs. A recent check showed a spike in views during Preservation Week (130) and during the third week of June (270) correlating with posts to the Society of American Archivists and digipres electronic mailing lists, as well as ALA Connect. The committee also made plans to create a Wikipedia article for preservation education, to send announcements to numerous book and paper arts electronic mailing lists, and to send individual announcements to each of the schools included in the directory. The committee also made plans to begin updating the directory in fall 2012, with a January 2013 target for completion. The committee agreed that this would be a good opportunity for virtual members to participate.

The Planning and Construction of Book and Paper Conservation Laboratories: A Guidebook is at press and should be available shortly.

Upcoming Programs and Publications

The next Preservation Film Festival program will be held at the Annual Conference in 2013. The committee named Jessica Phillips and Katherine Risseeuw as co-chairs to organize the event, including making accommodations for space and equipment, selecting content, and contacting possible sponsors to provide food/snacks. The event will offer a mix of films about preservation and screenings of preserved films, particularly those about libraries. A call will be put out on library and media archive electronic mailing lists to supply historic footage (on DVD) for the event. The committee will also put out a call for libraries to produce new preservation education films, with a May 1 deadline for submissions. Top submissions will be shown at the festival, and will be posted to a YouTube channel.

Upcoming e-forums: The “Brittle Book Strategies in the 21st Century” e-forum will follow up on the Annual 2012 program, to be held July 11–12, 10am–6pm EDT.

Possible Programs and Publications

The IMLS Connecting to Collections C2C Exchange was approved for a 2012 virtual preconference, but postponed to 2013. The committee will contact Kristen Overbeck Laise of Heritage Preservation to discuss a possible program for Annual 2013.

The committee will also contact Julie Page to discuss the possible program, “Collaboration on Cultural Heritage: Bringing Together Museums, Archives, and Libraries in the California Preservation Program and the Californians Connecting to Collections Project” for Annual 2013.

Special collections security was suggested as a PARS forum topic for Annual 2014, with a possibility for partnering with Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of ACRL. The committee will speak with potential chairs for program.

For Annual 2014, a program will be held to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Preservation Week.

Jane Monson, a member of the LITA Publications Committee, contacted us about a possible collaboration between PARS and LITA for a guide on digital preservation. LITA is currently investigating the possibility of producing a line of e-publications. The end product would likely be shorter than a monograph, and would lend itself well to very current and up-to-date topics in digital preservation and related technology, as the production timeline will be shorter than that for print. Mary Miller met with Jane to discuss the next stage of development for the publication; they will follow up by putting out a call for authors.

A short publication was suggested as a follow-up to the 2011 Promoting Preservation Interest Group panel discussion, “Response, Recovery and Reality: Disaster Preparedness for the Long Term.” Possible venue: ALCTS paper series.

High-density storage emergency planning: the committee will contact speakers from the Annual 2011 program to discuss the possibility of a short publication on this topic.

Discussions. Increasing Digital Preservation Programming and Collaboration. The group discussed the need for PPP members to attend and participate in digital groups’ meetings and sessions, and to work with these groups to create a greater breadth and depth of programming and publications related to digital preservation. Before Midwinter and Annual, the committee chair will make a list of related programming at those conferences and ask PPP members to attend and report back, and to advocate for speakers to consider publications. Groups include:

  • Digital Humanities Discussion Group (ACRL)
  • Digital Curation Interest Group (ACRL)
  • Digital Conversion Interest Group (ALCTS PARS)
  • Preservation Metadata Interest Group (ALCTS PARS)
  • Digital Preservation Interest Group (ALCTS PARS)
  • Other? What about LITA? Do we still need to inventory groups out there?

Improving Committee Communications (both internally and externally). The committee discussed the need for improved documentation to help new committee members coming in. The group discussed creating and keeping documentation on ALA Connect, including a preservation calendar that shows when the Preservation Directory should be updated, when calls for programs should be sent out, etc. The group also discussed the need to create boilerplate for messages to send out regularly to PARS and ALCTS electronic mailing lists to remind members to consider publishing with ALCTS. The group discussed other venues as well, such as an FAQ on the web.

PARS Web Working Group

The Web Working Group met briefly at the All-Committee Meeting, and then had a discussion with the PARS Executive Committee regarding the purpose and structure of the Web Working Group. The current makeup of the PARS Web Working Group is under review, and may change to emphasize our new focus on social media and communication. The chair will work closely with the Executive Committee to determine how the group can function to best serve the needs of PARS and its members.

Over the past year, the Web Working Group completed actions in two major areas. At the request of the PARS Executive Committee, we researched applications for use in conducting virtual or hybrid meetings. A summary of our findings can be found on ALA Connect at, and we encourage any PARS members who have used these tools to add comments about their experiences.

We also conducted a survey of PARS members regarding the current use and purpose of the PARS website. Our goal was to determine how we could reorganize or add to the website to make it more useful for PARS members. After reviewing the results and discussing options with the Executive Committee, we have decided to focus this year on exploring social media outlets for sharing information. These may include Facebook, Twitter, and working more closely with other existing preservation blogs and web resources.

Preservation & Reformatting (PARS) Interest Groups

Book and Paper Interest Group

We began our session on mass de-acidification with a presentation by Jeanne Drewes, Chief of Binding and Collections Care Division, Program Manager of Mass De-acidification, Preservation Directorate, Library of Congress (LC). She shared with us a revised version of her talk with the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), “Moving Preservation Research into Preservation Process.” She recapped the library’s early history researching alternate processes to treat acidic paper, beginning in the 1970s with DEZ (diethyl zinc) and truckloads of books, before working exclusively with Bookkeeper. She gratefully acknowledged the critical role her former colleague Ken Harris played in testing the various de-acidification processes, working with Preservation Technologies, L.P. (PTLP) to come up with smaller particle sizes for treatment, and convincing Congress to support this program.

In the early 1990s, the Library staff was looking for an affordable solution for what to do with acidic books, other than reformatting. They knew from the recent Yale study that there were huge numbers of acidic books in many libraries. The Library wanted a more cost-effective process to deposit an alkaline reserve within the acidic paper, and to increase the paper’s life expectancy three times over, from 300 to 1,000 years, depending upon the condition of the paper at the time of de-acidification.

In 1996, the Library began working exclusively with Preservation Technologies’ Bookkeeper product, in a congressionally supported 35-year program. By 2002, as the Library was sending out 50,000 books annually for de-acidification, they received a custom manuscript treater for in-house treatment of unique items in their Research and Testing area. Manuscripts, which curators do not want to leave the building due to their high value, are placed in cassettes and submerged into a tank, where the solution deposits micronized particles into the paper, reducing the surface “dust” appearance that was present in the initial treatment batches.

The overall de-acidification program is now in its fifteenth year, with test papers and books included in each batch. PTLP also tests the Library’s materials, and results are compared.

Jeanne is responsible for treatment goals of 250,000 volumes and 1 million manuscript sheets annually. She has fit de-acidification selection and treatment into the Library’s existing intake workflow. New arrivals that test positive for acidic paper are first catalogued or library bound, then de-acidified before being put on the shelf. In addition to looking at new arrivals, library staff are pulling from the shelves, working their way through the call number areas with Abbey pens. All de-acidified volumes are marked on their spines (or enclosures, for special collections materials) with a white dot. The staff is working in both general and special collections areas, including comic books, and will be adding in pulp fiction soon.

Jeanne’s ongoing research will look at current receipts, specifically the total number of receipts into a library by publication year, sorted by country to see what percentage are on acidic paper. With U.S. publishers now mainly printing on alkaline paper in conjunction with the Library’s program of reformatting brittle books, she felt the number of volumes needing de-acidification would be manageable. But she was surprised by how many of the new receipts annually were still on acidic paper: 2-3 percent from the U.S., reaching up to 41 percent from India. She realized there is still a lot of acidic paper being created out there. This has led her to look at the paper industry worldwide, to see where acidic paper used in publishing is coming from. (And if anyone doubts the strength of the publishing market, the Library still gets 10,000 titles a day).

In conclusion, Jeanne mentioned a colleague had posted an annotated bibliography of all mass de-acidification articles printed between 1990 and 2010 on the LC website. As Jeanne looked at all the studies on mass de-acidification performed to date, she recognized that there was no consistent metric to compare all results. The Library will be taking on the role of developing parameters and testing protocols to be able to track mass de-acidification results, and to look at them through accelerated aging and destructive testing, with all the testing done in-house in their recently upgraded lab. They will hope to define their research methodology, and find a single measure to compare mass de-acidification processes; they also hope to promote independent testing, while avoiding any bias, to empirically evaluate and verify the efficacy of their program.

Next in the session was a panel of four speakers discussing their experiences with mass de-acidification. Two of the speakers were overseeing decade-old programs, while the other two were initiating projects within the year.

Sue Kellerman, head of preservation at Penn State University, coordinates one of the earliest mass de-acidification programs in the country, which just entered its seventeenth year. Penn State’s interest in mass de-acidification began with an inquiry from an alumnus looking for library discards to test in his own system, evolved to working with FMC and DEZ in 1991 and 1992, and in 1995, with help from Ken Harris at the Library of Congress, resulted in the initiation of their ongoing program with PTLP with a first shipment of 163 books.

The preservation staff performs collection surveys to help decide what materials to send for treatment. They look at new acquisitions, legacy collections, and collections of distinctions. Initially they held group meetings with other colleagues within the libraries with PTLP to inform them of what material types were optimal. Beginning with their general collections, materials were stabilized in-house before they were sent for mass de-acidification treatment. Upon their return, volumes were marked with an infinity symbol stamp on the outside front cover at the head to indicate they had been de-acidified. In 2001, Penn State started the next phase of their mass de-acidification program, focusing on their collections of distinction, including materials from their maps library. In 2004, they initiated the special collections aspect of their program, sending a large postcard collection.

Scott Devine, head of preservation at Northwestern University, shared his institution’s long history with mass de-acidification, dating back to an initial needs assessment survey of general collections in 1987 that stated 60 percent was printed on acidic paper. He chronicled their search for appropriate partners, a brief foray with DEZ in the early 1990s, and then their choice of PTLP and a long-term contract beginning in 1995.

Northwestern’s mass de-acidification treatment selection focus is collections-based, targeting collections of distinction as opposed to sending individual items identified by circulation staff. The selection program is managed by quarterly selector review meetings, made up of subject specialists and curators, who are asked to submit proposals of materials to send. The materials they are targeting should be acidic (but not yet brittle) collections with demonstrable research value. Knowing how the collections are used, by whom and with what frequency, helps prioritize the treatment pipeline given the program’s restricted resource allocation.

Scott specifically reviews with the curators what it means to the collections’ artifactual value to chemically change the object, and what it’s going to mean for their tactile quality. A collection’s storage conditions are also important in decision-making; those items in stable, cold storage will not be pushed for mass de-acidification treatment. Ultimately collection surveys of the proposed materials help prioritize what should receive treatment first, as time is also factored into the mass de-acidification workflow to address overall preservation issues (such as rehousing) for the chosen collections afterwards.

Scott offered several case studies to illustrate his selection criteria. Materials sent for treatment included newspapers and African language volumes on acidic, not yet brittle paper with stable, carbon-based inks, as well as homogenous archival collections of typing papers and stable inks. Those materials turned down for mass de-acidification included an archival collection with a wide variety of media, and a monograph and music score collection with a range of 20th century reprographics where tactile quality was paramount to the curator.

Renate Mesmer, Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library, shared with us her involvement in a new three-year grant funded by the NEH to catalogue and preserve her institution’s Shakespeare collection. The grant focuses on roughly 14,000 items ranging in dates from 14th century to modern day, in more than 200 languages. It addresses three needs, in order of importance: cataloguing, a phase box preservation rehousing, and mass de-acidification. At the outset, preservation staff performed a randomly sampled assessment of 450 volumes within the chosen collection using a custom database that identified bindings, papers, and different damages. This survey identified 290 volumes that needed to be phase-boxed, and 300 volumes could be de-acidified. Through the cataloguing process, curators and conservation staff chose an additional 2,000 volumes (one from each major printing edition) as suitable candidates for mass de-acidification.

The Folger sent out a small initial test batch of 45 volumes, including a variety of dates and damage types. Upon return, 10 percent had suffered damage: boards detached; large amounts of residual deposited on pages. The Folger staff went back to rework their selection process, with more in-depth pre-treatment documentation and revised packing methods. They determined a list of what to send—intact spines, text blocks with boards off, red rot; and what not to send—no weak sewing, no brittle paper, no heavily calendered paper. For those volumes deemed too fragile to send for treatment, the Folger will be modifying the temperature and relative humidity in their storage areas to address long-term stabilization that mass de-acidification treatment might have afforded them. Renate reiterated that given the high level of handling items receive in this treatment, it is crucial to consider the benefits versus the risks; essentially for her, it became a single-item treatment workflow as each item under consideration was given an extensive pre-treatment condition report.

Kate Contakos, Head of Preservation at Stanford University, shared ongoing experience of setting up for a small-scale mass de-acidification program. As Stanford is moving a huge percentage of its general collections into high density storage, Kate feels it makes the most sense to focus on materials that will stay on campus, that researchers and scholars are coming to use in their original format, which means special collection materials. She submitted a proposal to her director to fund a pilot project, and will search later for permanent money. Working closely with her special collection staff, she had spent time educating the curators about mass de-acidification through presentations by PTLP staff (with whom she worked in 2000). Two staff have performed surveys and condition reports to identify a few test collections, which she is now narrowing down through consultation with special collection staff and curators. In her words, she’s “start small, start special; get institutional funding, not project-based monies.”

Other BPIG updates: Laura Bedford is rotating out, so a new co-chair is needed. No one has been approached as yet, but we are looking. We will decide on appropriate topics for Midwinter and Annual once a new co-chair is selected.

Digital Conversion Interest Group

This session featured two presenters: Meg Meiman, coordinator of Undergraduate Research Program, University of Deleware, and Preservation Specialist Helen Bailey, Dartmouth College, who focused on strategies for succeeding with limited staff and resources.

After presentations and questions, we facilitated an open discussion relating to the topics that were presented upon (approximately 30 minutes).

At the conclusion of the meeting we conducted a vote for the new co-chair, as Kevin O’Sullivan is cycling off after this year’s Annual Conference meeting.

Digital Preservation Interest Group

The DPIG business meeting was held prior to the meeting presentations. Items discussed were:

  • Ballots for the co-chair election
  • Programming with other interest groups:
    • Digital Curation Interest Group
    • Digital Conversion Interest Group
    • Intellectual Access to Preservation Metadata
  • Announcement of ALCTS survey
  • General call for program topic suggestions
  • General call for announcements

Speakers commenced after the business meeting. The meeting theme was “Web-based digital preservation practice: It’s not just for web pages anymore.” Slides from each of the presentations are available on ALA Connect.

Lisa Gregory from the State Library of North Carolina discussed the CINCH tool, which Captures, INgests, and CHecksums records the library is legislatively mandated to maintain. This tool incorporates a capture utility and existing digital preservation technologies to create a more-automated workflow for capturing online files for preservation and access. The presentation described the tool’s development, functionality, and projected use.

Lori Donovan from the Internet Archive discussed the importance of web archiving and provided use cases, best practices, lessons learned, challenges and successes, and an overview of Archive-It, a web archiving service.

Heather Staines from Springer presented “Digital Preservation and Dynamic Reference: Preserving living references, databases, and other “Book-like Objects,” where she discussed the preservation of complex works. Her presentation questions such as: What is being done now to preserve such content? What are the key questions that publishers and libraries ought to be asking? What precisely should we be trying to preserve?

Intellectual Access to Preservation Metadata Interest Group

Thirty-five people attended the Intellectual Access to Preservation Metadata Interest Group meeting. The business portion of the meeting was conducted first, followed by two presentations on technical metadata.

Outgoing Chair Meghan Banach Bergin, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, noted the interest group’s participation in collaborative program planning with PARS Digital Conversion IG, PARS Digital Preservation IG, and ACRL Digital Curation IG, and encouraged attendees to complete a brief online survey about the programming to be sent following the conference.

Meghan welcomed incoming chair, Shawn Averkamp, University of Iowa Libraries, and conducted the election for the new chair-elect. Sarah Potvin, Metadata Librarian, Texas A&M Libraries, ran unopposed and was approved unanimously.

The presentations began with Chris Lacinak, President, AudioVisual Preservation Solutions, who discussed embedding and editing metadata in audio-visual files using MetaEdit, a tool created jointly with NARA, and reVTMD, an XML schema designed to address metadata for reformatted video. Chris gave a brief overview of the benefits of embedding metadata for both creators and end-users, and he explained the mechanics of embedding in A/V files and schemas involved. He described the MetaEdit tool -- free, open-source, software for embedding, extracting, and editing metadata. Some features of MetaEdit include: both GUI and command-line interfaces, ability to import/export metadata in a variety of formats, (optional) enforcement of standards and guidelines, and batch operations. Chris’ presentation slides are available on ALA Connect.

Joan Dashiell, product manager for Digitization Services, Backstage Library Works, spoke on the topic of metadata for images and her company’s workflows for generating, editing, organizing, and embedding metadata for clients. Dashiell gave an introduction to the types of metadata—descriptive, structural, technical, and administrative—and enumerated the benefits and processes of recording each. She gave special attention to structural and technical metadata as areas of her company’s expertise. Capturing both of these types of metadata can require a mastery of specialized software and workflows.

The question and answer session following the presentations inspired a lively group conversation about how much and which metadata to embed, with opinions ranging widely across the “just in case” to “just in time” spectrum.

Preservation Administrators Interest Group (PAIG)

Welcome, Intros, PARS Chair Welcome and Website Update (8–8:20 a.m.)

Ann Marie Willer, PARS Chair and Preservation Librarian, MIT

Welcome to the group. Highlights of the past year include strong attendance at conference meetings, as well as a successful Preservation Week program. PAIG will be on Saturday mornings from now on. ALA is trying to condense the conference into fewer days due to cost concerns of members. Some broader changes will start with the 2013 Midwinter Meeting, when programs will start at 8:30 a.m., rather than 8 a.m. All programs will be condensed into the convention center. Program slots will be shortened into 60- and 90-minute time slots. Interest groups will be shortened as well, except PAIG will probably be an exception, going to three hours on Saturday mornings given the nature of the work done at this session. In the next few years ALA is looking at capturing the content of the sessions to make them available online, or possibly live streaming. ALA is also looking at live access to remote attendees. PARS already experimented with this at Midwinter this year.

Preservation Week Recap (8:20–8:30 a.m.)

Julie Mosbo, Preservation Librarian at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Julie provided an overview of Preservation Week, indicating that there is a more in-depth program tomorrow at the Promoting Preservation session. Julie introduced the new leadership for the coming year for Preservation Week, with thanks to the outgoing members. New in 2012 was an effort to up our presence in social media. 497 or so friends in Facebook! Preservation Week used FB far more to promote events. Preservation Week has 332 followers on Twitter. Working on building up content on “Preservation @ your library” website. Able to add alot of content in the past year, expect considerably more in the coming year. 2012 saw two great webinars, Family Textiles (more than 250 attended live) sponsored by Gaylord, Preserving Your Personal Photographs sponsored by the HF group had more than 500 attendees.

Julie encouraged everyone to fill out the survey detailing what the community values and would like to see in Preservation Week. Clinics, demonstrations, lectures were all listed in the events at various institutions. There were some issues with the Preservation Week Google Map, with events appearing off the map. The group will be looking at a more secure or moderated map function for the coming year. There are more than 80 respondents to the Preservation Week survey thus far, and we are looking to get more and responses from beyond the PARS community. So far the responses are largely from academic libraries, but also include some public institutions like historical societies. A large percentage (70 percent) of responders indicated they plan on participating on 2013. Preservation Week 2013–2016 dates were shared, and will be up on the Preservation Week website, Facebook and Twitter along with the ALCTS website. Julie also encouraged folks to attend the promoting preservation program tomorrow.

IMLS Preservation Administration Fellowship Program (8:30–10:10 a.m.)

IMLS Fellows for 2012Head of Preservation Roberta Pilette, Yale University Library, and Aaron and Clara Greenhut Rabinowitz Chief Librarian for Preservation Evelyn Frangakis, New York Public Library, both spoke about the IMLS Preservation Administration Fellowship Program.

Evelyn provided an overview of the program and introduced the fellows. Kevin Cherry from IMLS also spoke, indicating strong interest from IMLS in supporting preservation. Their new strategic plan for collections has a focus on preservation for both digital and analog materials. They’re also starting a new planning group for the “connecting to collections” program. National leadership development project is funding a number of programs nationwide. IMLS is very much interested in education and continuing education in preservation.

Evelyn indicated we are coming to the conclusion of a three-year project for the NYPL / Yale Preservation administration program. She provided an overview of the background and intent of the program, and described the curriculum, giving young professionals the opportunity to put theory to practice in the environment of professionals in the field. The fellows rotated among a number of units. Fellows were given copies of the curriculum and told they were responsible for their own learning. They were encouraged to pay particular attention to developing and promoting preservation programs and activities at an institution. Each fellow was responsible for a significant research project. Evelyn indicated participating institutions benefitted enormously from their work. The IMLS fellows include:

Kimberly Peach, Yale University Library
Main project: AV Assessment in Rare Materials Section Beinecke Library at Yale

Surveyed 2007 items, most at high risk and poor condition, film, reel to reel and disc. Discussed the process of learning preservation concepts and how the different aspects of preservation covered in rotations fit together.

Emily Vinson, NYPL

Came to NYPL during the move to a new facility in Queens. Emily worked on a number of projects within different NYPL preservation units, including shipping and packing guidelines for audio and moving image, splicing repair and materials inspection, cleaning and hinge removal, politics of prioritizing conservation. Emily also carried out registrar information. Worked with IPI on environmental monitoring and planned preservation week activities. Her major project was a disaster plan.

Kevin O’Sullivan, Yale University Libraries
Major project: Part II of AV survey at Yale Beineke Library

4,166 items surveyed from 196 collections, random sampling of 379 collections known to house AC material, utilized Columbia’s AVDb survey tool. Kevin also highlighted a number of minor projects that he worked on at Yale, including environmental monitoring, use of a new campus wide DAMS for AV, conservation training, creating and mounting an exhibit, managing budgets.

Martha Horan, George Blood, Audio and Video, and Jonah Volk, NYPL
Microfilm Legacy Project at NYPL

Worked on the “Three Faiths” exhibition at NYPL, worked on de installation and rehousing. In audio preservation, researched the best solutions for cleaning. Also worked with audio engineer to work on non-standard enclosure for diamond disk. Worked on treatment options and evaluated costs, etc.

Jonah Volk discussed learning administrative skills as well as technical skills, project management, statistics, prioritization. Outside of rotations they worked on a variety of projects, including surveys of AV material, talking to curators and discussing risk assessment by format. Also worked on care and handling session for Preservation Week.

Jonah described the major project: assessment of preservation microfilm collection, which includes more than 190,000 reels of microfilm, most of them filmed on site. Goals included assessing collection and making recommendations to ensure digitizability and long term survival. They visited two main sites, including RECAP in Princeton in NJ and facility at NYPL (Schwartzman building). They researched past practices for microfilming at NYPL and issues with the cataloging records for the reels.

Martha Horan discussed the assessment and housing recommendation of the physical condition of the material as well as the cataloging issues. Looked at practice of storing two copies of the material on one reel master negative and print master). They were able to date the shift from acetate to polyester in the collection, and determine the percentage of acetate in the collection. They also measured the acidity of the collection.

Annie Peterson, Yale University Libraries
Disaster plan for the high-density storage facility at Yale.

Worked from incident command system, sketching roles and responsibilities for everyone at the facility. Created tabletop exercises along the way, working on what people do instinctively.

Annie also described her rotations through other preservation units, including environmental monitoring, collection assessment in special collections. Attached snapshot photographs to cataloging records to aid assessment. She worked on 1,742 collections at Yale, as well as an exhibit for Preservation Week. Annie also worked on digitization project for the Yale Daily News, working with vendors and quality control.

Nick Szydlowski and Kymberly Tarr, NYPL

Nick talked about rotations through functional rotations through preservation, including collections care (non-circulating but non special collections) and participated in a relocation project, moving 600,000 items offsite. Preservation supported by creating special boxes and enclosures for the move. They worked in the registrar’s office, working on materials going out for exhibitions.

Kim discussed additional rotations, working on conservation work, shadowing conservators working in various functions. Also worked on Preservation Week, hosting three public events and two staff tours.

Research projects: Nick described enabling data driven decisions for preservation. Redesigning statistics were connected to the reorganization of preservation services. They interviewed staff at other institutions gauging practices and needs. Also interviewed NYPL staff to assess local practices. Created a database to enter time they are working on projects. Integrate time data and project data and assess in one place.

Kim described a survey of the spaces holding the audio collections of the NYPL; they are in line with strategic priority of the management of AV holdings. Storage is the single most important factor determining the useful life of modern information media –IPI. The project goal is to identify the storage locations in NYPL. Establish or expand environmental monitoring, shelving characteristics, light sources, dust and particulates, HVAC concerns.

Closing Remarks

Bobbie Pillett provided closing remarks on the IMLS Fellows Program. She cited the value that the institutions gained from participating and the commitment to see their ongoing work concluded. Bobbie cited the value of the rotation system, working with vendors, attending professional conferences, and attending tours within their host institutions and others as well. Identifying gaps was a key component of their charge, noting the budget shortfalls that the fellows identified. The fellows noted a “sense of independence with a safety net” in that they were given the opportunity to take risks, but were supported and steered to success along the way. This program was seen as a “finishing” program to the UT or PMI certificates, but with those programs closed or on hiatus, it took on a different role. Bobbie cited the need to consider the future role of preservation, its support, jobs in the field and ongoing education needs.

There was a twenty-minute break before the session continued.

A Tribute to Jan Merrill-Oldham (10:30–11 a.m.)

Evelyn Frangakis, New York Public Library

Former colleagues of Jan’s, including Paul Parisi, Wes Boomgaarden, Gay Walker, Oliver Cutshaw, and Jane Hedberg all spoke.

The recipient of the first Jan Merrill Oldham Professional Development Grant award was announced, supporting professional development of young preservation librarians. Special thanks to LBI, Metal Edge, and PARS for support.

IMLS Grant Digitization Data Collection (11–11:30 a.m.)

Jacqueline Bronicki, Associate Librarian - IMLS Project Coordinator University of Michigan, delivered a presentation on validating quality on large scale digitization of books.

Announcements (11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.)

Jeanne Drewes announced greetings from Mark Sweeney at Library of Congress. Exciting times with changes in leadership at LC. LC is dedicated to Preservation Week, working on a free poster for libraries.

Jeanne reminds us that she is the editor of the ALCTS Paper Series, and are looking for other editors for this series. Currently they are looking at a disaster planning book, and a piece on the importance of standards. Works are book length, multiple parts, and ALCTS is always looking for authors.

Cathy Martinyak announced that Jeanne Drewes is the ALA award winner for promoting preservation.

As of the end of last year, Massachusetts was awarded a three-year FEMA hazard mitigation grant. The grant is to look at risk assessment and mitigation planning at the individual institution level. A series of workshops for train the trainers will be funded focusing on risk mitigation.

Roger Smith announced the PMI focus group: intent is to have a conference call or several conference calls that serve as a discussion forum to collect feedback from PMI graduates, citing the importance the program held for them as preservation professionals and the value it held for their institution. This feedback will be shared with Rutgers University continuing education staff to help shape decisions on shaping the program going forward.

George Blood on behalf of Ian Bogus: minimal standard working group will present their findings shortly.

Annie Peterson is the new cochair for PAIG for the next two years, with Roger Smith continuing in the 2012–2013 year.

Promoting Preservation Interest Group

The PPIG Meeting focused on division member feedback about Preservation Awareness Week 2012.

Julie Mosbo, Chair of the Preservation Week Working Group and Preservation Librarian at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, provided statistical data on the 2012 events. She showed samples of events—blog posts, lectures, clinics, demonstrations. She noted which preservation topics were popular, most notably information on how to preserve video/film and photographs. She also mentioned that the data on the Google Map, which shows where events were held around the world, was unreliable. It was hacked earlier this year, and locations stopped syncing correctly to events. In the future it would useful to have a form where the data is collected and then posted by ALCTS. There were 99 events in 2011, and more than 100 in 2012, indicating that Preservation Week continues to increase participation, as it has since its inception.

Julie then provided data from a survey sent to Preservation Week participants. The survey was necessary to retrieve some information unavailable from the Google Map. Eighty individuals responded to the survey. Fifty-eight percent of respondents participated in Preservation Week; 32 percent did not participate. Most participants had heard about Preservation Week through the ALA electronic mailing list. The majority had not collaborated with another institution. The group felt that collaboration needs to be encouraged. Most participants are academic libraries. Thirteen locations had between 21 and 50 people attend events. The age range was highest among 30–50 year olds, and lowest among 0–17 year olds. The group felt that more emphasis should be placed on activities with children.

Preservation Week was advertised through flyers, bookmarks, and the press kit, the bookmarks proving to be quite popular. This year the Preservation Working Group increased advertising, using social media like Twitter/Facebook.

When asked what they would like to see in the future, participants said:

  • Updated logos and book marks
  • Co-ordination with May Day
  • Reorganization of web page
  • People want follow-up stories on events
  • Speakers bureau – needs to be updated and needs to be promoted better
  • “Pass it on” website needs more visibility

Preservation Week Webinars

Preservation Librarian Stephanie Lamson, University of Washington Libraries, gave a report on Preservation Week webinars. There are generally two to three new webinars designed per year. All are free and archived on ALCTS website. ALCTS either solicited speakers or had volunteers do them. There is a Webinar Proposal Form available if anyone has an idea for a new webinar.

Stephanie noted that average webinar registration rose from 530 in 2010 to 720 in 2012. However, she cautioned that registration does not equal viewing the data. There was a 20 percent response rate on the post survey. Most registrants learned about webinars from e-mail, and most viewers are not ALA members. Most users are part of academic libraries, but there was an increase in public library use of 20 percent.

Working with the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Howard Besser, director of the Moving Image Archiving & Preservation Program, New York University Tisch School of the Arts (NYU-MIAP), presented on his work with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. This work included educating Occupy participants about the best methods for long-term preservation of the information they were creating as part of their movement.

Howard acknowledged that the Occupy movement had a vast majority of user-contributed material, commonly via social media. He believes we need smart ways to harvest metadata, and additionally, we need to educate users as to how this affects the preservation of their items. At NYU-MIAP the “Activist Archivists” group was formed a few weeks after Occupy Wall Street. They sought to engage in projects addressed to people in the Occupy movement such as the “why archive” postcard. The postcard outlined best practices for creators/collectors. The “Activists Archivists” also produced a toolkit for Occupy archiving. At NYU-MIAP there was also the Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group. This group had the philosophy that the Occupy participants will “own their own past.” They thought that to educate participants, communication needed to be done using Occupy vocabulary.

For Preservation Week, they booked speakers and focused on seven tips on making sure your video is usable in the long term. The big issue remained the outsider language. Occupy movement members resisted this language. They presented it as a way to keep the movement from only being presented in the “victor’s language.”

Preservation Week at Northwestern University Library

Preservation Librarian Katie Risseeuw, Northwestern University Library, reported on Preservation Week activities at her university. She noted it was there first time participating, and she was interested to find the private academic library’s audience. They had daily demonstrations and a staff workshop called Preservation 101, focusing on shelf prep/binding, mold and pests, basic book repair, and brittle books. They offered daily tours of the lab and had handouts for each daily demo. Each day of Preservation Week had a different demonstration. They were: Book Repair; How to Mount Paper and Artwork; Pest Management; Film and Magnetic Media; Research Training.