There was a recent report (AN, June) that Bookkeeper (a small firm soon to market its own deacidification process) was holding up House approval of a plan to contract out the operation of the Library of Congress's deacidification plant. Nevertheless, the Washington office of the American Library Association reports that the House and Senate have both agreed with LC that it makes sense to contract out the operation of the facility. They did not endorse the diethyl zinc (DEZ) method, but did give the Library permission to issue a request for proposals (RFP). Nothing can happen, however, until differences in the two bills are ironed out in committee.
The ALA Washington office also reported that the House Interior Appropriations bill (HR 4867) is out of committee with a provision in it that the National Endowment for the Humanities' preservation budget he more than doubled, from $4.5 to $12.5 million. The Senate subcommittee has acted but has not recommended an increase. (The story of the hearing in which this increase was proposed is on p. 64 of the previous issue of AN; Bookkeepers' address is on p. 1.)
The Task Force on University Press-Library Relations of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) has asked the Systems and Procedures Exchange Center of the Association of Research Libraries to help it design and analyze a survey on its members' use of permanent paper for publishing. Results will he reported at the AAUP conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 26-29. Results will be available on request to ARL members.
A new department or column in the Library Journal, edited by GraceAnne DeCandido, includes the following item in the June 15 issue:
A chemical analysis of the dust in the stacks of the New York Public Library yielded the following interesting if unsurprising results: 25 percent textile fibers (mostly cotton, polyester, and blue-dyed cotton thread--see all those stack folk in blue jeans?); 24 percent minerals, in this case calcite, quartz, and feldspar from the library marble; 16 percent oil soot, mostly from oil combustion; and 34 percent biological components, most of which (28 percent) are paper fibers. The slow fires imagery of a book crumbling to dust comes to analytical reality here.
The WAAC Newsletter for May is 26 pages long and full of news, thanks to its many regional reporters. On p. 18 there is the following report:
For several years conservators in the paper conservation lab at the FAMSF [Fine Art Museums of San Francisco] have operated a data base program using Filemaker Plus and Microsoft Word 3.01 concurrently. This system controls client receipting, condition and treatment reporting (using stored standard phrases), and invoicing and provides convenient lists for inventory and registration purposes. Bob Futernick reports the development of a product he calls "Push Button Reporting" that works in the Apple Hypercard environment. With this, condition reporting is done by examining the artwork near the computer and checking appropriate boxes on the computer screen corresponding to the object's condition. The resulting product is a completed accurate individualized report.
A good deal can be done on a volunteer cooperative basis, but for a comprehensive state disaster program, Outside or state government funding is almost a necessity. This seems to be the lesson in two recent reports from New York and Florida.
In the April 1988 CAN, John DePew describes Florida's plans and initial actions, based upon a survey questionnaire mailed to academic and public libraries to determine the frequency of damage or disaster incidents and adequacy of preparation to cope with them. There was a good response, about 93%, which Mr. DePew attributes to use of the survey method described in Don A. Dillman's book, Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method (New York:
Joho Wiley & Sons, 1978). The librarians were very interested, but could not travel long distances to workshops; so the first six workshops were held this spring in scattered locations around the state. The goals of the project include that of providing each participating library with a disaster plan. Participants have to meet the coordinators halfway by gathering a great deal of information about their libraries and submitting their draft plans for discussion. Funding is provided through the Division of Library and Information Services of the Florida Department of State, with a $52,481 LSCA Title III grant.
The Conservation/Preservation Program of the New York State Library has hired NEDCC to develop its statewide disaster program, which like Florida's will be comprehensive, coordinated and supported through the state, and initiated with workshops. The final goal is the extension of training, resource networks, and full disaster preparedness throughout New York State. Not only libraries, but records offices and historical agencies will take part. The news release does not say whether archives are included.