Next week marks the fifth occurrence of annual ALA-ALCTS Preservation Week events. To borrow from their website :
Preservation Week was created in 2010 because some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Eighty percent of these institutions have no paid staff assigned responsibility for collections care; 22 percent have no collections care personnel at all. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan. As natural disasters of recent years have taught us, these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike. Personal, family, and community collections are equally at risk.
Recognizing this need, ALA and its Association for Library Collections and Technical Services inaugurated national collections Preservation Week, May 9-15, 2010, along with national partners that include the Library of Congress, Institute of Library and Museum Services, American Institute for Conservation, Society of American Archivists, and Heritage Preservation
ALA and its partners urge libraries, museums, and archives to take this week to remind others of the importance preservation efforts play in maintaining our collective national heritage and accumulated knowledge in the form of the written and printed word.
We don’t have any special events planned this year as last, but that doesn’t mean preservation efforts have stopped in the lab. In fact, we’re working harder than ever to identify, prioritize and care for those very types of items mentioned above, within IU Bloomington Libraries and other Bloomington Campus collections.
Fiscal year 2013-2014 saw 6,736 enclosures made for items as varied as wooden puzzles, microfiche rolls, artist books, manuscripts, scrapbooks, photographs, pamphlets and just about any other category of item in our Special and General collections. 3,056 individual items were given remedial care. 6,603 volumes were prepared and sent for commercial binding.
Beyond this, Preservation staff are on call to respond to water emergencies affecting collections across campus. We provide insect and mold remediation services to many research centers and departments. Tours of our facility are conducted on a regular basis educating students, staff, faculty, donors, peers and university presidents about the work we do; spreading the importance of our mission. Seven temporary/student workers are currently employed and provided with valuable on-the-job experience in the Library field as well as income to aid in continuing their studies.
All told, much of the work we do has a visible effect on collections- items are repaired and made available to circulate safely and enclosures are created to aid in best storage practice. Beyond that, Preservation plays an integral part in library operations as a partner in the overall mission of providing the University community with information resources for years to come.