Seldom has the political environment for preservation initiatives been more fraught with pitfalls and promise. Preservation librarians seemed perpetually involved, on the one hand, with the constant struggle of facing scarce resources and increased competition for resources, and on the other hand, increased demand for these resources. Libraries are also straining to accommodate the demands and complexities of alternative media formats.
The practical problems of preservation were brought home to me recently when our institution, due to the condition of the volumes in our collection, was unable to quickly respond to another law library's request to copy tables converting information from the Century Digest to one of the volumes of the Second Decennial Digest. Our copies were almost as disintegrated as theirs, a problem which greatly inconvenienced a large number of students doing legal research and writing.
Undoubtedly, preservation of physical materials is an important function of libraries. However, when internal support for preservation projects is not available, "Preservation Fund Raising" becomes a necessary option. Fund raising involves outright financial contributions from individuals, business, and organizations. An effective fund raising plan requires a strong relationship between fund raising and public relations personnel. This activity is a major outreach effort, requiring marketing skills and expertise.
Long range planning is a necessary prerequisite to effective fund raising. The process involves:
One of the constant efforts in fund raising is locating donors. This can be done through book collectors, friends, groups (extra-institutional groups designed to raise and retain money, lend political support, and publicize the agency and its projects), societies, and others with a vested interest. Stretching dollars through collaboration with others is also a consideration.
The purpose of a government grant program is defined by law. A review of government agencies will indicate whether a specific agency provides funding for the type of program planned by your library. Some government agencies do provide preservation support for libraries. Generally, the best strategy in searching for a funding source is to start locally and expand outward. Your state library may have a grant program to support preservation. The federal government also offers grant programs and some of these have experienced significant changes which are explained below.
The preservation funding environment on the federal level has recently been undergone a dramatic change. The Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) has been replaced (or if you prefer "reinvented") by the Library Services and Technology Act, which was passed this September. LSTA, like LSCA, is administered by the Department of Education through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. LSTA, drafted by an ad hoc inter-association task force, streamlines and simplifies the administration of federal library programs. (See: Conference Report on H.R. 3610, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1997). It is very important to note that the new statute represents a change of philosophy in that the Act's drafters sharpened the focus on information access through technology, which made LSTA a "politically sellable" item in the 104th Congress. The Act also established national library service goals for the 21st century. In terms of preservation planning, this means that more emphasis will be placed on imaging projects.
One of the major changes under the LSTA is
the transformation of the Institute of Museum Services (IMS), which has given a lot of
grants for conservation, into the new Institute
of Museum and Library Services (MLS). This
change places greater focus on cultural
organizations working with each other. IMS
supported museums of all types and provided
matching grants to help museums identify
conservation needs and priorities and to
perform activities to insure the safekeeping of
Contact: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 510 Washington, D.C. 20506, 202-606-8536.
After much concern, both the National
Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the
National Endowment for the Humanities
(NEH) appear to be receiving the same level
of appropriations that they had received the
previous fiscal year. NEH provides funding to
advance and disseminate knowledge in all
the disciplines of the humanities. Of the four
divisions of NEH, the Division of Preservation
and Access is of particular interest. The
Division makes grants for projects that will
create, preserve, and increase the availability
of resources important for research,
education, and public programming in the
Contact: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Preservation and Access, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 802, Washington, D.C. 20506, 202-606-8570. Annual Deadline: July 1.
The National Archives Historical Publications
and Records Commission (NHPRC) seeks to
preserve and protect America's documentary
history. NHPRC funds projects that preserve
endangered historical documents, plan for
the preservation of archival materials, train
those who work with historical records, and
make documentary resources available to
researchers, students, and teachers through
Contact: National Historical Publications and Records Commission National Archives, Building (Archives I), Room 607, Washington, D.C. 20408, 202-501-5610. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Federal Emergency Management
Administration (FEMA), the central point of
contact for emergency planning within the
federal government, is currently working with
librarians on a National Task Force on
Disaster Response. It is composed of 90
persons in six working groups. Some of the
organizations involved with this effort include
that National Institute of Conservation and the
Getty Institute. In addition to helping
individuals by providing emergency protection
to preserve life and property, preservation of
cultural properties during and after a natural
catastrophe (Hazard Mitigation Grant
Programs) falls under FEMA's disaster
Contact: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Office of Disaster Assistance Programs, Washington, DC 20472
Increasingly, cultural organizations find themselves relying more on private funding sources for preservation needs. Many businesses appropriate funds for tax deductible donations and preservation of valuable materials and can offer what donors are looking for: a good cause. Foundations should be approached only after thorough investigation because these organizations usually support specific types of programs and may restrict support by geographic locations. Begin by reviewing the foundations in your locality or region, since you would have a better chance of finding a foundation which might support a specific project. The standard reference for information on private and community grant-making foundations in the United States is the Foundation Directory, published by the Foundation Center in New York City and updated annually. It lists, by city and state, all non-federal financial assistance available for worthwhile proposals.
Nationally, many organizations sponsor workshops on funding preservation efforts in response to a relative decline in the availability of public funding vs. private funding. The Texas Association of Museums, for example, sponsored a program entitled "Private Money/Public Programs" to provide small to mid-size museums with the tools to identify and approach funding sources. AMIGOS sponsored a program on "Federal and State Information Policy and Funding Issues: Politics, Elections, and Libraries" at its Fall 1996 Conference at which Carol Henderson, Executive Director of the ALA Washington Office, provided an update and overview of LSTA.
Consortia such as AMIGOS, through its
AMIGOS Preservation Service, can assist
with a library's grant writing and fund raising
Contact: Tom Clareson, AMIGOS Preservation Service Manager, AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc., 12200 Park Central Drive, Suite 500, Dallas, TX 75251, 800-843-8482.
Another regional preservation service, the
Northeast Document Conservation Center,
provides costs estimates for grant application
Contact: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 100 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 10810, 508-470-1010.
The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) 1997 PTTGrants Programs Guide and Guidelines for preparing PTTGrants proposals are available exclusively via NCPTT's fax-on-demand computer (call 318-357-3214 and follow the recorded prompts); via gopher
under About the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training/Announcements/1997 Preservation Technology and Training Grants, and via the World Wide Web
Other valuable preservation fund raising sources include: American Association for State and Local History; American Association for Fund Raising Counsel; American Association of Museums; American Library Association; Association of Research Libraries; Business Committee for the Arts; Chronicle of Philanthropy; Committee on Preservation and Access; Foundation Center; Grantsmanship Center; National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property; National Society of Fund Raising Executives; National Trust for Historic Preservation; Society of American Archivists; and the Taft Group.
A full set of the Discussion papers from the Australian National Conservation and Preservation Strategy Forum, held in Sydney on October 30, 1996 are available at:
The National Library of Canada Bibliography of Standards and Selected References Related to Preservation in Libraries (Feb. 1996), complied by Suzanne Dodson, University of British Columbia and Johanna Wellheiser, Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, is on the National Library of Canada's home page:
The Northeast Document Conservation Center's (NEDCC) Web site is now online at:
In addition to information about NEDCC, the site includes technical information on preservation, answers to frequently asked questions, information about funding sources for preservation, and NEDCC's calendar of workshops and seminars.