ALA division launches national Preservation Week @ your library May 9-15, 2010


For Immediate Release

December 8, 2009

Contact: Charles Wilt

Executive Director, ALCTS

(312) 280-5030

CHICAGO - Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will sponsor the first national Preservation Week, May 9-15, 2010.

Preservation Week intends to raise awareness of libraries’ role in connecting the general public to preservation information and expertise. Events sponsored by libraries will increase preservation awareness by emphasizing the close relationships among personal, family, community, and public collections and their preservation.

It is the first national awareness campaign targeting collections preservation awareness for the general public by strengthening community partnerships for preservation.

Preservation Week will begin to address the preservation concerns of the valuable collections of individuals, families and collectors by providing Web resources, success stories, and ideas for programs and projects, focusing on libraries as a place for preserving our rich heritage. The Preservation Week Web site will connect librarians with excellent resources already available for those who need specific preservation information. Go to the Preservation Week site at for information and resources.

A Preservation Week poster and bookmark is now available in the ALA Store. Help support Preservation Week. Visit the ALA Store:

Join your colleagues at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston for the Preservation Week Forum sponsored by the Preservation and Reformatting Section of ALCTS on Sunday, Jan. 17, 44 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Boston Convention Center, Room 162 A/B.

With the theme of “Pass it on,” the first preservation week is a collaborative effort with the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in addition to many other

cultural heritage organizations and associations, to connect people to preservation on a personal

level, to increase the number of advocates for the importance of preservation in sustaining

cultural heritage and information access and to enhance knowledge of preservation issues among

the public and those responsible for collections.

In 2004 Heritage Preservation carried out the first national survey, the Heritage Health Index, to document collections preservation needs in libraries, museums, and archives ( That survey showed that roughly 1.3 billion items need treatment to reduce the risk and rate of damage.

The Heritage Health Index recommended that meeting the national preservation need will take shared responsibility by many, including public and institutional decision-makers, and policy makers.

The condition of 30 percent of items across every type of collection and library is unknown. Even when condition is known, our cultural heritage continues to be at risk, including newly created digital collections. No one knows of preservation needs in the individual, family and community collections that represent our heritage in private hands.

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.