The high point for me was the last event at the Preservation Administration Discussion Group (PADG) meeting, Friday, June 14.
Pat Palmer Selinger, Chair of the PARS Program Planning and Publications Committee, had sent me a message beforehand, to let me know what to expect. She said, in part, "The PARS Program Planning & Publications Committee has planned for you a special reception and an informal event to begin immediately following the [PADG] meeting....
"The reception—to be held from 4:00 to 6:00 pm—is sponsored by ProQuest, Inc. of Ann Arbor, and will include refreshments.
"The program will feature the world premiere (and possibly the only showing ever) of a sound and image presentation that features people who have been involved in ALA's preservation efforts from the 1970s to the present day. This multimedia presentation has been created by Wes Boomgaarden (Ohio State) and David Walls (Yale) on behalf of the Committee.
"The program will be followed by the presentation of the Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award for 2002."
Over 250 photographs were projected, in record time, including a few of familiar publications (CAN, LRTS, Chronicle of Higher Education and the Abbey Newsletter), and sites (DEZ mass deacidification chamber, National Underground Storage, and LC), and many group and individual pictures of preservation people in both formal and informal settings from 1979 on. We were all given a list of "the players" but there were so many that it was hard to keep track. Our "programs" also listed the popular songs that were played as we watched, opening with "Genesis" and ending with "Thanks for the Memory." The audience responded with enthusiasm.
Meantime, a bar was being set up in the back of the room and a well-provisioned buffet was put next to it.
Then Pat announced that the award would be given, so everyone went to their seats and I got up on the dais. Bob Strauss and Pat unwrapped a large, hand-lettered framed certificate and gave it to me whereupon I exclaimed, "Why, it's beautiful!" (I guess I had expected it to be official-looking.) It read, "The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association, is honored to present the 2002 Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award to Ellen McCrady...."
Then came a paragraph describing the contributions considered most significant, in addition to the publications: advocacy of alkaline paper, development of a reliable pH testing pen, and provision of information to individuals. It was signed by Roberta Pilette (Chair, Award Committee), Richard E. Spatz (Chairman, Preservation Technologies, L.P.), and Bill Robnett (President, ALCTS).
In addition, I received a check for $1500.
At this point I felt that it would be appropriate to give a brief (3-minute) speech, which I called "How I Got This Way." It covered my correspondence with absent members of our divided family in the '30s and '40s, and my youthful conviction that you could stop time by describing what happened in it. (I could also have mentioned the pen pals I had, the diaries I kept, and an enduring desire to help people find what they wanted.)
After my "speech," I joined the party at the buffet table and circulated a bit, catching up with old friends and thanking several of the people who had previously sent me letters of congratulation.
All in all, it was quite a heart-warming experience.
Terry O. Norris
Joan T. Batchelor
David Diggs La Touche
David B. Gracy, II
Ingrid Rose Co. Ltd.
Nancy Carlson Schrock
The ABBEY NEWSLETTER: PRESERVATION OF LIBRARY & ARCHIVAL MATERIALS (ISSN: 0276-8291) is published six times a year with a separate index by Abbey Publications, Inc., 7105 Geneva Dr., Austin, TX 78723, and has about 1000 subscribers. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Rates is pending at Austin, TX 78752. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Abbey Newsletter, 7105 Geneva Drive, Austin, TX 78723.
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