Promoting Preservation Awareness in Libraries

A Sourcebook for Academic, Public, School, and Special Collections

by Jeanne M. Drewes, ed., Julie A. Page, ed.


Gives practical information to librarians for teaching patrons and staff the importance of preserving library materials and techniques to lengthen the life of materials.

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Cover image for Promoting Preservation Awareness in Libraries

May 1997

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 384
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Archives and Records Management/Preservation and Curation

No other book provides such a comprehensive approach to educating library customers and staff in the preservation of library materials. Over 35 case studies provide innovative programs and strategies for providing preservation education initiatives throughout the library. The various types of materials collected paired with the variety of patrons requires a full spectrum of approaches. Going on the assumption that much damage is caused by unknowing misuse, this professional reference gives academic, school, and public library staff as well as special collections staff, a solid approach for designing, implementing and evaluating formal and informal preservation educational programs.

As collections deteriorate and library budgets shrink, the longevity of collections becomes an increasingly important issue. To minimize harm to collections, librarians need to emphasize the importance of preservation and proper handling. This professional reference explains how to create, implement and evaluate formal and informal preservation education programs in school, public, academic, and special collections.

Chapters are written by contributors from a wide range of positions in librarianship and academia. Building on the assumption that most misuse is because of misunderstanding or lack of understanding, much attention is given to reaching all types of patrons and changing attitudes. Because preservation largely depends on the attitude of patrons, much attention is given to reaching all types of patrons. Informing adults to avoid misuse and teaching children to respect books and to handle them carefully are two different methods. Visual messages using posters, bookmarks, and signs to educate can help prevent damage. Library staff, on the other hand, benefit from training programs, which can effectively include tests and videos. Users of rare and archival materials can be informed through brochures, and one-on-one interaction with librarians. The volume includes over 35 illustrative case studies, and it concludes with an extensive bibliography and videography.

Table of Contents

Preservation Issues and the Community of CustomersCreating Preservation Education Programs for Staff and Library CustomersEvaluating Preservation Education Programs for Staff and Library CustomersPreservation Education in School LibrariesPreservation Education in Public LibrariesPreservation Education in Academic LibrariesPreservation Education in Special Collections and ArchivesAppendices



"Preservation education - of staff and of patrons - is half the preservation battle. In the numerous case studies presented in this very useful book, representing the spectrum of library/archive environments, there is much practical advice and even some wisdom, readily adaptable to all caretakers of the human record. From UCLA's stringent security measures to the dramatic learning experience in an elementary school media center, this book explores how to raise preservation consciousness at all levels. Library tours, workshops, sensitive staff/patron interaction, programming suggestions, effective graphics, and creative use of the World Wide Web are all seen as opportunities to promote preservation. A particular and unexpected gem is Edward Hutchins' essay, Guerrilla Bookmaking, which gets one thinking creatively about the human value of books and about how to communicate that value. In short, the principles of preservation education elucidated here make this indispensable. Highly recommended for all libraries. ways to raise preservation consciousness from library tours to creative uses of the Internet."Library Journal

"Any library should have in its collection a copy of IPromoting Preservation Awareness in Libraries. . . . It is a useful source both for the staff and for the patrons who will find answers to questions on handling and storage of any kind on information-bearing entities."Library Acquisitions: Practice & Theory

"The book will undoubtedly be of use and interest to many librarians. . . . For librarians who know what they want to do, but are unsure of how to do it or would like to draw on the experiences of others, it is a valuable addition to the literature."Journal of Documentation


"This volume will be a very useful source for librarians, archivists, paraprofessional staff, administrators, and preservation professionals who are engaged in educating their communities about preservation excellent 'one-stop' resource for anyone looking for concrete suggestions for educational programs aimed at patrons and staff.... [This book] will be an important addition to the preservation literature, pulling together information that is essential to effective preservation programs but that has not been widely and easily accessible in the past."—Ann Russell
Executive Director
Northeast Document Conservation Center

"^IPromoting Preservation Awareness^R fills a long-standing need in the field of library preservation.... [The book] speaks to the preservation needs of public, school, and academic libraries that have, for too long, been sparsley represented in the literature. This volume goes a long way toward redressing that imbalance. Happily it does so with a number of interesting, informative and well-written articles that give good advice, concrete examples, and sound reasoning."—Robert DeCandido
Preservation Division
The New York Public Library


Library Journal Year's Best Professional Reading, 1997

Student Resources

It has been over ten years since the publication of Promoting Preservation Awareness in Libraries and much has changed in the library and archive world. The general content of the book still applies as a means of promoting preservation awareness but some of the vehicles of transmission have changed. This companion website offers an opportunity to update the Appendixes without producing a new edition of the title. In general the update includes some print, but more predominately web-based resources that support the premise of the title - that there are a variety of means for educating your community of users to establish desirable preservation behaviors by example, attitude and actions. While preservation awareness of staff and users takes an ongoing commitment of library and archive personnel, new venues to heighten that awareness open new opportunities to reach the public and educate them in the ways of preservation.

Jeanne Drewes is Chief of Binding and Collections Care within the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress. She was formerly Assistant Director for Access and Preservation at Michigan State University and held preservation library positions at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan. She may be contacted at

Julie A. Page is Co-Coordinator of the California Preservation Program, and User Services Coordinator for the Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS). She was formerly head of the Preservation Department at the University of California San Diego. She may be contacted at:

Lorraine A. Dong is an IMLS Doctoral Preservation Fellow in the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin (UT). She received her M.S.I.S. and C.A.S. in Preservation Administration from UT and her M.Phil. in Renaissance Literature from Cambridge University. Dong has also worked in the Preservation and Conservation Units at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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