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Subject: Preservation Administrators Discussion Group

Preservation Administrators Discussion Group

From: Sara R. Williams <williams_s>
Date: Thursday, July 23, 1992
The following is a summary of the discussion which took place at the
meeting of the Preservation Administrators Discussion Group at the
American Library Association's annual conference in San Francisco last
month.  I emphasize that this is a summary (DEFINITELY NOT OFFICIAL
MINUTES), made for the benefit of DistList readers who were interested
in specific agenda items, but couldn't make it to San Francisco.

For those of you who aren't librarians or don't go to ALA regularly, a
few words of explanation may be in order.  The Preservation
Administrators Discussion Group (PADG) is open to all full-time library
preservation administrators; meetings are open and observers are
welcome.  The official charge is " provide a forum for discussion
of administrative issues and developments for preservation
administrators."  The PADG has a chairperson and a secretary, who
moderate the discussion and distribute agendas and any other necessary
documents.  Discussion groups in ALA do not propose measures themselves,
but are free to make recommendations for consideration or action to
appropriate ALA committees.

The chair of this meeting was Wes Boomgaarden (Ohio State University);
Sara Williams (University of Colorado-Boulder) was secretary.  The
topics are the same as those that appeared on the agenda distributed
before the conference, but the order of discussion was rearranged at the
time of the meeting to accommodate Pat Battin's presentation (see below).

A.  Automated Preservation Needs Assessment Instruments (Barclay Ogden,
University of California-Berkeley).  The Research Libraries Group and
UC-Berkeley (with the California State Library) have both developed
automated preservation needs assessment instruments.  The two versions
are designed to be used by nonspecialists in making management decisions
concerning preservation and differ only in the kind of management
reports they generate.

Both these instruments rate materials based on a combination of several
decision factors:  a) physical condition; b) access problems: c)
housing problems; d) value as determined by bibliographers or curators.
The combination of access problems and housing problems lead to a score
for what is called exposure. Materials at high exposure, in poor
physical condition, and of high value are categorized as the materials
of highest priority for preservation.

The version developed by UC-Berkeley and the California State Library is
called CALIPR.  CALIPR was used as part of a state-wide preservation
planning project by forty-three libraries, archives and historical
societies.  RLG is still testing its version, and is working on an
adaptation for photograph collections and other nonprint materials.

     More information can be obtained from:  

               California State Library Foundation  
               P.O. Box 942837                      
               Sacramento, CA  94237-0001           
               Research Libraries Group
               1200 Villa Street
               Mountain View, CA  94041-1100
               (415) 962-9951

B.  University of Chicago Preservation Planning Conference, May 27-May
29, 1992.  Several of the preservation officers who attended this
meeting were present at PADG and offered to summarize.  The University
of Chicago invited directors, collection development officers, and
preservation officers from ARL libraries with mature preservation
programs to discuss the development for a national preservation
initiative for large research libraries.  The attendees were divided
into working groups with topic assignments, then reported back to the
larger group.  By the end of the conference a rough consensus had begun
to develop.  A task force was formed to continue the work under the ARL
Committee on Preservation of Library Materials.

C.  Electronic Preservation: Preservation of Electronic Formats and
Electronic Formats for Preservation.  Carla Montori (University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor) gave a report on the June 3-4 Wisconsin
Preservation Program Conference.  The conference program included
presentations from several institutions doing projects involving
electronic files or digital image capture of analog files (read: books).
While the new technologies are clearly coming, several problems must be
solved before we can all stop microfilming, to wit:  obsolescence of
hardware and software, the need to periodically refresh data,
conflicting or nonexistent standards, and the rival claims of
preservation vs. access.

The discussion which followed centered on how best to address these
issues intelligently, and whether a standing committee on electronic
preservation was needed, or if there was already adequate coverage of
this topic within ALA.  The subject was tabled until the next meeting.

D.  Stacks Maintenance and Preservation:  Wes Boomgaarden (Ohio State
University) and Mark Roosa (University of Delaware) proposed the
following question for discussion:

     In the publication Preservation Program Models: A Study Project and
     Report (J.Merrill-Oldham, C.Morrow, and M.Roosa. ARL, 1991) it is
     stated that "it may be desirable to shift responsibility for stack
     maintenance from traditional sites (e.g., the circulation
     department) to the preservation department.  It may be easier to
     encourage staff whose mission is 'preservation' rather that
     'reshelving' ..." (p.25)

     Have any libraries represented by the PADG members seriously
     considered this arrangement?

Mark Roosa, one of the authors of Preservation Program Models, talked
about some of the reasoning that went into this recommendation.  In the
discussion that followed, it became apparent that, while the importance
of stacks maintenance was agreed on by all, none of the libraries
represented at the meeting had tried making it a formal part of the
preservation department, and did not seem to feel that such a measure
was necessary, if communication could be maintained in some other way.

E.  Collection Conservation Conference Report (Barclay Ogden, University
of California-Berkeley).  Barclay reported on the results of a
conference hosted by UC-Berkeley in April to develop regional plans for
training technicians in collection conservation (i.e., repairs for books
in general collections).  A complete  account of this conference
appeared in instance 5:68 (7/17/92) of the Conservation Distlist.

F.  Problems with Holdings Information for Filmed Serials. (Barclay
Ogden, University of California-Berkeley):  This topic was tabled until
the next meeting, although there was general agreement that the subject
was important and deserved discussion. The abstract Barclay prepared for
the agenda appears below:

     Filming serial titles is a large and growing component of many of
     our preservation programs and projects, and leads to increasing
     frustration over trying to determine what already has been filmed
     elsewhere when searching the OCLC database.  OCLC records for
     filmed titles can display in a note which volumes/issues of a title
     have been filmed, assuming the information has been entered in the
     first place by the filming institution (often not the case) AND the
     record is the first film record for the title in the database.
     Since the database is not completely satisfactory, could
     preservation programs set up an informal e-mail network among
     themselves in order to send queries about holdings for titles that
     OCLC shows have been filmed by our institutions?  This proposal
     needs both agreement from all of us doing filming to assist one
     another and speed of response to avoid interrupting filming

G.  Patricia Battin, Commission on Preservation and Access: Discussion
of the letter from the PLMS Preservation Management Committee to the
Commission on Preservation and Access.

Commission on Preservation and Access' recently-published Review and
Assessment Committee Final Report.  A number of comments and
recommendations were made and incorporated in a letter sent by the
ALA/ALCTS/PLMS Preservation Management Committee to the Commission.
Patricia Battin attended the afternoon session of the Discussion Group
to talk about the recommendations made in the letter and to answer any
questions about the Commission's plans for the future.  The Commission
will continue to give high priority to communications and publications
that will support educational efforts concerning the need to conserve
cultural heritage.  Plans are also being made to continue and enlarge
the International Project.

H.  Selection of incoming PADG Chair and Secretary.  Carla Montori
(University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) was elected chair; Cathy Larson
(University of Iowa) was chosen secretary.   There was some discussion
of ideas to improve the organization and structure of the PADG; these
were referred to Carla.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 6:10
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 23, 1992
                        Message Id: cdl-6-10-003
Received on Thursday, 23 July, 1992

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