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Subject: Active participation in DistList

Active participation in DistList

From: Karen Motylewski <kmoty>
Date: Thursday, June 18, 1998
Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful comments and intriguing
discussion re sharing information/answering queries here, and as
always to Barbara who I've greatly admired as consistently
courageous enough to go out on limbs other conservators fled ever
since I met her twelve years ago.

For the record (and certainly not for vanity or posterity!) since
I've been privileged to work for institutions that were committed to
sharing information and educating since I entered the field, I've
felt responsible to provide information when I thought I had it.
When I was at NEDCC, we considered it part of my formal job
responsibilities.  I still do, but I (shamefacedly) rarely make the
time to respond here for several reasons. One is that other
day-to-day functions seem to take most of my time, and it's hard to
find the energy.  Another is that a lot more people are sharing
information in my area of knowledge now, and they seem to cover the
ground well.  Still another is that I (like others) have been
smacked firmly for saying things casually or carelessly, or
mistakenly, and I've gotten thin-skinned about being chided in

If a question's been hashed over in the past, the asker seems to
have done some homework and to need help, and I think I have it, I
answer privately. First, I don't want to take flack for having a
non-conservation-PC opinion, which I sometimes have vis-a-vis what
you can try yourself in the absence of money and a local
conservator. I always include discouragements and warnings, and
recommend getting a conservator's advice if we're talking about
intervention beyond  conventional storage practices.  Anyone who
knows me knows I don't advocate do-it-yourself surgery on artifacts,
but in the absence of informed advice, many non-conservators *are*
going to try something, and better they should have some guidance.

To Regina, whose points are well taken, I tend to put postings on
the back burner, since I spend a significant part of my day handling
program or bureaucratic business online.  By the time I actually
read them, some time may have gone by and the reply may be distant
from the question. This probably happens to others, too.  I try to
include enough leader for readers to reconstruct the original

I frankly miss participating in this forum.  It takes courage, as
Barbara pointed out. If anyone wants my (occasionally irreverent
and/or inaccurate) notes to our students on the AIC electronic
discussion group, let me know.

Probably the most important thing I learned from the meeting (just
sharing) is the answer to my old question about whether mold conidia
(spores) remain toxic and histamine-triggering post-viability.  Mary
Lou Florian said yes. She gave the span of viability for conidia
(absent intentional effective destruction), varying with species and
ambient conditions, as 2 weeks to 50 years.

Sorry if I ran on.

Karen Motylewski, Director and Senior Lecturer
Conservation and Preservation Studies
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
SZB564/D7000, University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78704-1276
Fax: 512-471-8285

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:5
                   Distributed: Friday, June 19, 1998
                        Message Id: cdl-12-5-004
Received on Thursday, 18 June, 1998

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