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Library and Information Services

Preservation


The faculty and staff of Lovejoy Library are committed to an ongoing preventive preservation program designed to maximize the natural life cycle of all library materials, equipment, and furnishings. We appreciate the financial investment that the university makes in providing SIUE faculty, students, and staff with an excellent library facility and with authoritative library and information resources essential to the fulfillment of our teaching, research, and service obligations. The faculty and staff of Lovejoy Library invite the understanding and active participation of the university community in the implementation of our preventive preservation program.

We strive to foster an environment conducive to rigorous intellectual inquiry and quiet contemplation. Such a learning environment is characterized by respect--respect for the rights of other researchers, respect for appropriate conduct in the university classroom, and respect for library resources. In their own best interests, patrons are encouraged to become sensitive to preservation issues, to handle library materials carefully, and to behave responsibly within the library facility. Without positive participation by our patrons, our preventive preservation program cannot succeed. The Lovejoy Library Patron Conduct Policy explains to library users their responsibilities with respect to preventive preservation.

All formats of library materials possess inherent limitations in their chemical or physical structures. In addition, a number of external factors such as careless handling of materials, theft, vandalism, light, pests, pollutants, extreme variations in temperature and relative humidity, water, and fire can greatly accelerate the normal process of deterioration. Fortunately, a comprehensive program of preventive preservation can significantly reduce or even prevent premature deterioration. Lovejoy Library's preventive preservation program is primarily concerned with the following interrelated issues. This summary of issues is based upon the document Assessing Preservation Needs: A Self-Survey Guide prepared by the Northeast Document Conservation Center.

Environmental Control-providing a moderate, stable temperature and humidity, and controlling exposure to light and pollutants

Disaster Preparedness-preventing and responding to damage from water, fire, or other emergencies

Security-protecting collections from theft and/or vandalism

Storage and Handling-using non-damaging storage enclosures; using proper storage furniture; cleaning materials and storage areas; using care when handling, exhibiting, or reproducing materials

Reformatting-reproducing (microfilming, photocopying, or digital imaging) onto stable media fragile, damaged, valuable, and/or heavily-used materials

Binding and Repair-using library binding for appropriate materials (those that are not valuable as artifacts), performing minor in-house repairs (encapsulation, surface cleaning, minor paper repair)

Conservation Treatment-having valuable items such as manuscripts, journals, maps, and drawings treated by a qualified conservator.

1. Building Characteristics and Condition

2. Building Environment

A. Climate Control

  1. Relative Humidity
  2. Temperature
  3. Stability
  4. Storage Areas
  5. Monitoring

B. Control of Pollutants

  1. Air CirculationFiltering
  2. Vacuuming

C. Control of Light

  1. Intensity and Length of Exposure
  2. Filtering of UV Light

D. Pest Control/Housekeeping

  1. Food, Drink, Refuse
  2. Systematic Cleaning of Dust/Dirt
  3. Integrated Pest Management
  4. Economics of Neglect

3. Protecting Collections from Loss

A. External Threats

  1. Acts of Nature
  2. Manmade

B. Water Protection

  1. Roof/Drainage
  2. Pipes, Restrooms, HVAC
  3. Materials Shelved Off Floor

C. Fire Protection

  1. Detection Systems
  2. Prevention Education
  3. Sprinkler Systems
  4. Extinguishers

D. Disaster Planning

  1. Evacuation
  2. Disaster Recovery Plan
  3. Education for Response
  4. Insurance

E. Building Security

  1. Education for Prevention of Theft, Vandalism, Arson
  2. Monitoring

F. Controlling Access to Collections

4. Individual Storage and Exhibition Areas

5. General Storage and Handling Practices

A. Storage Furniture

B. Archival Enclosures

C. Handling and Processing of Collections

D. Cleaning Collections

6. Storage and Condition of Specific Formats

7. Exhibition of Materials

A. Light Levels

B. Duplicates or Facsimiles

C. Exhibit Case Environment

8. Reformatting

A. Microfilm

B. Photocopy

C. Photographs

D. Audio

E. Digital Imaging

  1. Expense
  2. Metadata
  3. Quality Control
  4. Storage
  5. Obsolescence
  6. Migration/Refreshment

9. Binding

10. Repair and Treatment

A. In-house

B. Specialist

Specific Lovejoy Library preventive preservation procedures for staff are listed here.

For further information about preservation activities in American academic libraries, please consult The State of Preservation Programs in American College and Research Libraries: Building a Common Understanding and Action Agenda by Anne R. Kenney and Deidre C. Stam. Preservation activities in less affluent countries are discussed in the Library Preservation and Conservation Tutorial.

Click here for a list of comprehensive preservation web sites or for printable leaflets on preservation of specific formats of materials.

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