The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 6-7
Dec 1995


Istook Amendment in Lobby Reform Bill Defeated

On November 29 by a unanimous vote the House of Representatives passed the Lobby Reform Bill, which bans the practice of lobbyists giving members of Congress expensive gifts and vacations. It would also have severely restricted the already limited advocacy activities of nonprofit organizations, if Representatives Ernest Istook (R-OK) and David McIntosh (R-IN) had succeeded in attaching their amendments. Passage of the Istook amendments would have required sending the bill back to the Senate--perhaps jeopardizing passage of the Lobby Reform Bill. (From NCC Washington Update, Vol. 1, #60, November 29, on the Archives List)

This issue was also reported on p.756 of the December Consumer Reports. Consumers Union, publisher of CR, has received two comparatively modest grants since 1990. If the amendment had passed, Consumers Union says, it would have been forced to choose between Federal funds and the right to pursue their mission.

The issue is not dead. Istook and McIntosh have tried since early last summer to get their amendments through Congress as part of a number of bills, and will probably try again.

ISO & Document Storage Requirements

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has a group that is working on a standard for Document Storage Requirements. The group's official designation is WG3 (Working Group 3) of ISO/TC 46/SC 10, and it began work in January 1994, with Helmut Bansa as Project Leader.

Its scope is broad, including not only temperature, humidity and light, but security, cleaning, ventilation, environmental controls, and disaster preparedness plans. The first draft was a "concordance" of relevant national standards, as they exist in Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia and the U.S. The fourth working draft was discussed in May in Ottawa. The current draft can be sent to interested readers, though it cannot be used or referred to yet as a standard. Dr. Bansa's fax number at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich is 49-89 28 638293.

Multimedia Training in Basic Library Repair

Dartmouth College Library was awarded a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology & Training to create a multimedia training presentation accessible on the World Wide Web from the Dartmouth College Library home page. Topics to be presented include page tip-ins, hinge tightening, surface cleaning, and other basic techniques. At completion staff and others with access to the Internet will be able to view training materials and book conservation resources that complement their understanding of simple book repair techniques. Funding was provided to cover equipment purchases to film and photograph the repair techniques and to cover staff costs. For further information contact Barbara Sagraves: <Barbara.Sagraves@Dartmouth.EDU>

Publisher Advises Readers What to Do if Binding Fails

Ken Grabowski of Chicago sent in a photocopy of the front cover of a softcover book called The Collector's Guide to Fossil Sharks and Rays from the Cretaceous of Texas, by Bruce J. Welton and Roger F. Farish (Before Time, Lewisville, TX, 1993), along with a note that came in or with the book.


Please take care to not break the spine (binding) of the book as it may cause the pages to be released from the adhesive. If the binding does start to release pages, we recommend that the book be 3-hole punched and stored in a 3-ring binder for unlimited use thereafter. Thanks.

There must be a story behind this. Since there is no telephone number listed in Lewisville for a company called Before Time, the book may have been published privately, in which case the authors may have been out of their depth when it came to dealing with printers and binders. The shock and disappointment the authors felt when the book came from the printers must have been echoed in each reader who ordered it, and neither publisher nor reader could have gotten much satisfaction from the fact that the book was "Printed and bound in the United States of America," and not some other country.

Law Librarians Monitor Paper & Binding Quality

An Ad Hoc Working Group on Paper and Binding was set up in 1993 under the Preservation Committee of the American Association of Law Libraries. This Committee also has a Subcommittee on Complaint Resolution, a five-member Editorial Committee, and subgroups of undefined genre for Copyright Contact, New Product Award and Publisher Price Index. The Working Group's first report was published in its November 1994 Newsletter, and reported on p. 42 of this Newsletter. Like this year's report it was part of a bound-in annual supplement, "The CRIV Sheet, The Newsletter of the Committee on Relations with Information Vendors."

The Working Group sent new copies of the survey questionnaire to the 12 publishers who failed to respond last year. Eight responded, though two of these eight denied permission to quote their individual responses. All of them complied "to a significant extent" with ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992, though only two of them printed a notice of compliance in their publications.

The standard for binding method they asked about was Z39.66-1992. The responses varied. One company stated "We follow standards," but would not provide the name of the standards referred to. Several said they did not follow the ANSI/NISO spec for cover cloth, although in fact they did. All eight companies said they bound with grain long; some used burst binding. Most respondents are not following all of the specifications of ANSI/NISO Z39.66-1992.

Supplies of Cheap Alternative Power are Growing

One obstacle to preservation of libraries and archives in isolated sites and developing countries is lack of affordable, reliable power--for air conditioning, computers, lights, microfilming, photocopying, vacuuming, and a dozen things more. This obstacle is becoming smaller every year, though, according to the book Vital Signs 1995: The Trends That are Shaping our Future (by Lester R. Brown, Nicholas Lenssen and Hal Hane; NY & London: W.W. Norton, 1995. 176 pp. $10.95 + $3.00 postage). Energy sources of growing importance are natural gas, wind power, solar cells and compact fluorescent lamps.

Gas prices are low and stable, lower than oil prices. Production has been doubling every decade, except that Russia's production has fallen recently due to political disorganization. But gas seems destined to replace oil.

Wind power has been increasing exponentially since 1980. India is already the world's second most active wind market, and it is still adding megawatts. India has a number of joint ventures with European and U.S. turbine manufacturers. The authors conclude, "Overall, developing countries appear to have a good chance of dominating global wind power by the end of the decade."

World solar cell shipments jumped by more than 15% in 1994, and prices per watt have fallen. The U.S. is the world's largest producer. "Photovoltaics," the authors say, "could soon become one of the world's largest industries, as well as one of its most ubiquitous energy sources."

Sales of compact fluorescent lamps have increased fourfold over six years, and in Japan, 80% of home lighting uses these bulbs. They save money and electricity: Over its 10,000-hour lifetime, each 75-watt compact fluorescent lamp eliminates the need to purchase 10 incandescents and 560 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Unfortunately, at the same time, the oceans are rising and 29 million people will be at risk of flooding 100 years from now because of global warming, according to October reports released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They are summarized in the November 4 Science News on p. 293. Moral: Build your libraries and archives on high ground, well above sea level.

Photographic Conservation Group Formed in UK

In October, 1994, at a one-day meeting of lectures and poster exhibits at the National Gallery in London, a group of 65 photographic conservators, curators and conservation scientists agreed to form the Photographic Materials Conservation Group. The organization is open to individuals and institutions whose field of interest in preservation and conservation includes photographic materials, and to interested scientists or research assistants.

There was a second one-day meeting in May, 1995, at the Public Record Office (PRO), with lectures and poster exhibits and a business meeting, at which officers were elected. The chair is Chris Woods, archive conservator, and the secretary is David Parker, Conservation Officer at the PRO (fax 44 181-878-8905).

Hard-Working IADA Board Sets a New Course

The board that was elected at the Tübingen conference in September held its second meeting in November, at the Central Research Laboratory in Amsterdam. They met for about 15 eventful hours and accomplished a great deal:

"IADA" stands for Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Archiv-, Bibliotheks- und Graphikrestauratoren (Association of Archive, Library and Graphic Arts Conservators).

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