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Preservation Week

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Celebrate Preservation Week, presented by the American Library Association

Celebrate Preservation Week, presented by the American Library Association

As libraries and archives across the country recognize Preservation Week, our Program Manager Matt Richardson provides us with the following, highlighting the American Library Association’s planned activities and advice on practicing preservation on those personal collections at home.

“Pass it on!”  The American Library Association’s annual Preservation Week is happening now, April 27 through May 3, 2014.  ALA organized the first Preservation Week in 2010 to highlight the importance of preserving materials representing our cultural heritage that are held in collections across the country.

But Preservation Week is about more than just the nifty things held in libraries’ hopefully-climate controlled stacks (don’t worry—ours are!).  It’s also an occasion for professionals to reach out to the public and share what they know about caring for important objects.  After all, who doesn’t have an old scrapbook, photo album, or other family keepsake stashed somewhere prompting the occasional “Oh yeah, I need to do something about that”?

To help, ALA’s Association for Library Collections and Technical Services and its partners are promoting a number of events and resources, including two free webinars this week.

When it comes to preservation, a stable environment and proper housing go a long way.  And even if you don’t have a perfect storage environment, there are certainly steps you can take to care for your materials.  To learn more, check out Low Cost Ways to Preserve Family Archives, offered Tuesday, April 29, at 1pm CST.  Focusing on items like family papers, photographs, postcards, and cookbooks, this session will help registrants “learn about possible risks from handling and the environment, and practical, inexpensive ideas to keep collections safe to help ensure what you have can be shared for many years to come.”

Scrapbooks make up a treasured part of many family (and library!) collections.  However, because of the diversity of materials involved, these gems can be especially challenging to care for.  A session entitled Preserving Scrapbooks, offered Thursday, May 1, at 1pm CST, promises to help viewers “learn about common problems with long-term preservation of scrapbooks and identify the most stable materials and bindings for new scrapbooks.”

If you’d like to find out more about how to protect your collections, presentations from years gone by (and being able to access stuff from the past—isn’t that the whole point here?) are available on the ALCTS webpage.  In addition, the Library of Congress’ Preservation Week page offers a plethora of information including descriptions of conservation treatments and webcasts from last year’s events.

And, of course, to learn more about those nifty things we’re in the business of preserving, safeguarding, organizing, and describing, pay us a visit!

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