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Subject: RLG preservation needs assessment

RLG preservation needs assessment

From: Laurie Abbott <bl.lxa>
Date: Thursday, April 23, 1992
We are pleased to announce that RLG has reinstated support for needs
assessment activities for RLG members, effective June 1992.  The needs
assessment tool was completed and distributed to members after a
training session in the spring of 1991.  Due to competing demands on
staff time, however, support for implementation of the needs assessment
surveys and compilation of the resulting data was suspended as part of
last year's reorganization.

After the Preservation Round Table meeting in January, RLG preservation
staff reconsidered the needs assessment program, its staffing
requirements, and its benefits to the membership, and began to define a
workable reimplementation of the program.  RLG will be able to offer a
needs assessment service as a membership benefit to all interested
members for six months beginning in June.  During that time, Laurie
Abbott will work with an advisory group consisting of:  Janet Gertz
(Columbia), Deborah Hefling (Cleveland Public Library), Walter Henry
(Stanford), and Barclay Ogden (UC Berkeley) to implement this service.
Their charge and additional background are appended below.

This announcement has also being mailed to all RLG member

        * * * * *      NEW SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT      * * * * *

                   RLG Preservation Needs Assessment

The RLG Preservation Needs Assessment, a tool for assessing the
preservation needs of research collections, will be featured as part of
a new service, available to all RLG members (both special and general).
Targeting primarily print-based collections, the tool is designed to
assist library staff in surveying their entire collection so that
preservation priorities may be identified.  After institutions have
implemented the assessment, data will be sent to RLG for compilation and
central analysis.  RLG staff will synthesize results and disseminate
findings to the research library community.

The service will be available by mid-June, 1992.  Upon request RLG will
supply a diskette, documentation, and (if needed) assignment to a
"buddy" institution that has experience in using the tool.

At the end of the initial six months the usefulness of the service will
be evaluated and a decision reached about its continuation.  At that
time there will also be an analysis of the potential for modifying or
redesigning the tool so that it could be used in archival and other
special collections, including those with non-print formats.  (A
parallel effort to assess the tool's usefulness with photographic
collections will take place within the scope of RLG's Photograph
Preservation Task Force.)

The Needs Assessment concept was first raised at an RLG Preservation
Committee meeting in May 1989.  A task force appointed later that summer
worked for two years to develop an easy-to-use survey instrument for
collecting comparable data that would identify the preservation program,
planning, and treatment needs of individual libraries. That instrument
was designed and tested (and redesigned and re-tested) by the task force
members, who conducted a training workshop for representatives from 23
institutions in May 1991. Subsequently, a number of those member
institutions undertook needs assessment surveys using the tool.

To resume and expand on this effort a Needs Assessment Implementation
Group is being appointed and charged to work through the remaining
unresolved issues prior to offering the service to the membership.
Conference calls and electronic communications will be used by the group
as they move through this agenda:

*   Develop a timetable that includes institutional completion of the
    survey, RLG compilation of data, and reporting out of results within
    the June - February 1993 time frame.

*   Provide advice to RLG staff on data analysis and dissemination.

*   Assess current documentation and address any additional requirements
    that remain unmet.

*   Assist RLG in developing a training program based on the
    mentor-institution model.

*   Work closely with RLG to evaluate the effectiveness and utility of
    the RLG Preservation Needs Assessment at the end of the initial six

For more information about the needs assessment service, watch the
preservation listserv or contact Laurie Abbott (bl.lxa [at] RLG__bitnet; 415-
691-2238) at RLG.

Patti McClung
Nancy Elkington
Laurie Abbott

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:54
                    Distributed: Sunday, May 3, 1992
                        Message Id: cdl-5-54-002
Received on Thursday, 23 April, 1992

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