Fundamentals of Preservation

Monday, 10/28/2019 - Friday, 11/22/2019
Monday, 3/9/2020 - Friday, 4/3/2020
Monday, 5/4/2020 - Friday, 5/29/2020
Monday, 7/20/2020 - Friday, 8/14/2020
Monday, 10/5/2020 - Friday, 10/30/2020

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.

The course is offered several times each year.  You only need to take one session. Sessions tend to sell out weeks in advance.

2020 Sessions

  • Session 1: March 9 – April 3
  • Session 2: May 4 – May 29
  • Session 3: July 20 – August 14
  • Session 4: October 5 – October 30

2019 Session

  • Session 4: October 28 – November 22

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

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.
  • Ashley Cox is Preservation Specialist at Saint Louis National Archives and Records Administration.
  • Karen O'Connell is Coordinator of the Arkansas Center for the Book at the Arkansas State Library.
  • Jenny Mullins is Digital Preservation Librarian at Dartmouth College.
  • Roger Smith is Director of the Digital Library Program at University of California - San Diego.
  • Patti Gibbons is Head of Collection Management at University of Chicago Library, Special Collections
  • Julie Mosbo is the William and Susan Ouren Preservation Librarian at Texas A&M University
  • Dyani Feige is Director of Preservation Services at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts.
  • Kara McClurken is the Director, Preservation Services at University of Virginia Libraries.
  • Amy Sullivan is Head of Preservation Services at George Mason University Libraries.



$109 ALCTS members; $139 nonmembers

How to Register


Register online using the online learning registration site.  Courses are listed by session date.  Click on the “register link” located to the right of the session you are interested in.   You will be prompted to login with your ALA member ID or create a guest account, to begin the registration process.

By Mail

Register by mail (purchase order or check) by completing this print registration form. Tip: If you’re unable to open this “register by mail” link, right-click the link and save the form to your computer.


For registration related questions, call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 and speak to our customer service representatives.

ALCTS Code of Conduct

Please review the ALCTS Statement of Conduct before registering.

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.


Contact Hours - 16 hours

ALCTS defines contact hours in line with the IACET standards on Continuing Education Units.

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, please contact