Fundamentals of Preservation

Description: This 4-week online course 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 and 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.

Sessions tend to sell out weeks in advance but are offered several times each year.  You only need to sign up for one session.

2023 Sessions

Click on a date range to register for that session.

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 1: Thursday at 3:00 pm CT
  • Week 2: Tuesday at 10:00 am CT
  • Week 3: Friday at 2:00 pm CT
  • Week 4: Wednesday at 11:00 am CT

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.


  • Dyani Feige is the Director of Preservation Services at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts.
  • Patti Gibbons is the Head of Collection Management at University of Chicago Library, Special Collections
  • Kim Hoffman is the Digital Curation & Preservation Librarian at Hamilton College. 
  • Kara McClurken is the Director, Preservation Services at University of Virginia Libraries
  • Hannah Moshier is the Preservation Librarian at Standford University Libraries
  • Karen O'Connell is the Coordinator of the Arkansas Center for the Book at the Arkansas State Library.
  • Amy Sullivan is the Head of Preservation Services at George Mason University Libraries.



  • $165.11 Core members;
  • $188.10 ALA members;
  • $209 nonmembers.

How to Register

Register for session 1 online.

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 questions, call 1-800-545-2433 to speak to our customer service representatives.

Registration Deadline

Registration for each course is limited to 25 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.

Core Code of Conduct

Please review the 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 website will be open for 1 week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. It 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

Core 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 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, please contact