2014 Tips

In honor of Preservation Week and the 30th Anniversary of the Preservation Standing Committee, the Committee introduced a monthly feature, the “Preservation Tip of the Month,” in April 2013. The monthly tip, sent as an e-mail via the TS-SIS discussion list, highlights tricks, resources, and collections to help you reach your preservation goals.

If you have topics you would like to see highlighted, or suggestions for resources, please send those to Lauren Seney at lpsene@wm.edu.


The Northeast Document Center’s Digital Preservation Reading List (77 KB PDF) is highlighted this month by the Preservation Committee. If you are having trouble developing a digital preservation plan, or just understanding the terminology surrounding digital preservation, this annotated bibliography should point you in the direction of resources that address your concerns. The bibliography is divided into sections that discuss strategies, frameworks, file formats, metadata, and curation. Additionally, the resources it contains also take a look at some of the ambiguous terminology encountered when working with digital documents and resources.


This month the Preservation Committee is highlighting the Library Digitization Cost Calculator (beta version). Staff at Duke University are developing this tool to assist libraries as they prepare to digitize content. The calculator is based on data from several institutions and can be used to estimate the cost of digitization at your institution. Learn more about the data sources at the Notes on Data tab. Since the project is currently in BETA, you can contribute data and additional suggestions through the Feedback/Data Submission tab.


The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) is developing a bibliography of preservation standards and best practices. While this site is still under development, it does contain a variety of guides for different formats, including digital preservation and audiovisual preservation, as well as guides for disaster preparedness. Once you navigate into the site you have the option to browse by topic or organization. This site is a Zotero group, so Zotero users can add this page to their list.


This month the Preservation Committee highlights the Library of Congress’ Recommended Format Specifications. The Library of Congress identified six broad areas of creative works, and then further segmented the broad categories. They were able to narrow down the broad categories to specific recommendations and provide a framework that allows for the future accessibility of these items. This list of specifications was created to meet the needs for internal use at the Library of Congress, but also to function as an outreach tool to the greater library community regarding long term preservation and access of both digital and analog materials. It is important to note that this is a fluid document and at present the Library of Congress plans to revisit it on an annual basis.

You can also read an interview with Ted Westervelt, who oversaw the development of the Recommended Format Specifications.


AVPreserve has developed a free Cost of Inaction Calculator to help analyze multimedia collections. The calculator assists in making more educated decisions about what to digitize, what to perform lower levels of preservation on, and what to leave in its native state. AVPreserve is a firm that works with institutions to help them “better manage, use, distribute, and preserve their media assets and metadata.” According to their site, the Cost of Inaction (COI) Calculator “helps organizations analyze the implications of varying levels of preservation action when dealing with legacy audiovisual collections. COI adds a data point to ROI, or Return on Investment, and helps articulate what stands to be lost or gained in terms of access, intellect and finances based on different scenarios around digitization, physical storage, digital storage, and media longevity.” A short video (8:41 minutes) helps explain the goals of the Cost of Inaction Calculator.

JULY 2014

The summer months cause many to start thinking about hurricane preparedness. It is also a good time to re-visit institutional Disaster Plans. Protecting resources from natural disasters, as well as how to implement recovery efforts for damaged collections are important aspects of a Disaster Plan. One sound resource is the Mid-Atlantic Resource Guide for Disaster Preparedness prepared in January 2013. This Guide provides contact information for national and regional organizations that can assist in preparing for or recovering from a natural disaster as well as supplies or equipment that should be made kept for recovery efforts.

Additional resources are available from the Library of Congress in the Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery section.

JUNE 2014

LYRASIS is sponsoring a Town Hall meeting about “How Practicing Professionals can get Hands-on Experience in Digital Curation” on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET. This is the final event in a series of NEH-funded Preservation Town Halls and will focus on ways that practicing professionals can access training in a hands on environment. A series of three speakers will present on different educational and training opportunities. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion about existing training models and educational gaps that been to be filled. While the event will take place at the Georgia Tech Learning Center in Atlanta, it will be webcast live for those who are unable to travel to the event. Register to attend online.

MAY 2014

The Preservation Health Check Pilot sponsored by OCLC Research and the Open Planets Foundation seeks to demonstrate the value of preservation metadata and methods of improving preservation metadata through the publication of interim reports. The links provide a full description of the project and access to the resulting reports.


To celebrate Preservation Week, the TS-SIS Preservation Committee and Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA) have gathered preservation stories to share via the LIPA blog.

  • The Personal Digital Archiving 2014 conference was co-sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Indiana State Library and Indiana State University Library, in collaboration with the Coalition for Networked Information. The conference explored the intersection between individuals, public institutions, and private companies engaged in the creation, preservation, and ongoing use of the digital records of our daily lives. Margie Maes had an opportunity to attend and shares her experience in Personal Digital Archiving Resources.
  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law Library has been loading digital content into a Digital Commons (BePress) institutional repository over the last few years. Our primary purpose of the site was to collect, preserve, and disseminate the intellectual output of our law school. Having created procedures which result in quickly loading current “intellectual output” into the repository, the staff began thinking about what sort of older output could be loaded. This year the repository has been expanded to include a variety of historic documents related to the law school. Indiana’s process is outlined in Expanding the Past: Indiana’s Digital Collection of Historic Documents.
  • A new job at the Supreme Court of the United States turns into a series of disasters, leading to an understanding of how a library disaster plays out in real time and the importance of a disaster response plan. Get the details in My Disastrous New Job!
  • Louisiana State University (LSU) Law Library looks at all that has been accomplished since June 2013 when the library hired its first full time archivist to oversee the rare books and archives collections. The archivist’s first priority was gaining physical control of the collections. Read the rest of the story in A Year of Preservation Progress.
  • A severe storm on Graduation Day 2013 caused a leak in the West Virginia University College of Law Library storage area. Stewart Pleiin shares a disaster recovery success story in The Graduation Day Leak: Mitigation/Preservation/Conservation Efforts.

APRIL 2014

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the Preservation Tip of the Month and the celebration of Preservation Week from April 27-May 3. So, the tip this month focuses on tools for celebrating Preservation Week.

This handout from ALCTS gives easy and low-cost ways to highlight preservation in your library. These ideas are a great way to do just one thing in your library to help promote the preservation of your materials for the future.

ALA’s Toolkit will help you plan and promote Preservation Week events at your library.

Checkout posts on LIPA’s blog to see what other law libraries have done in the past to celebrate Preservation Week.

To share your preservation stories and experiences from this year’s Preservation Week, contact Margie Maes (LIPA Executive Director, mkmaes@gmail.com) or Lauren Seney (TS-SIS Preservation Committee Chair, lpsene@wm.edu).

MARCH 2014

The Library of Congress has an extensive preservation section on its website. The Care, Handling, and Storage of Books page provides general guidelines for anyone using the materials in your collection. It also provides links to resources for identifying the proper supplies to preserve damaged materials and a Selected Bibliography for the Care of Books.


The Digital Preservation entry in Wikipedia is a well organized page that serves as a solid resource for digital preservation standards and best practices. The content has been developed by NDSA’s Standards and Practices Working Group (see this post for more details). In addition to a very detailed entry on the topic, the page provides a wealth of external resources for those looking to learn more about a specific aspect of digital preservation.


Two recent publications are highlighted this month.

In 2012 the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) performed a survey of institutions with digital preservation mandates to investigate how they were meeting staffing needs. The results of this survey were published in December 2013 as Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation: An NDSA Report (1.8 MB PDF). Check out the report to see the trends in digital preservation and the personnel needed to perform these important tasks.

The Preservation Committee would also like to draw your attention to an article in this month’s Technical Services Quarterly that will hopefully motivate us to develop sustainable, and in many cases very cost-effective, preservation policies. The article is:

Ashley Jones (2014) “Sustainability in Library Preservation,” Technical Services Quarterly, 31:1, 31-43, DOI: 10.1080/07317131.2014.844631

Abstract: Many in the library world are embracing sustainability initiatives in an effort to better serve our communities and planet. In this article the author explores the need to integrate preservation within the broader approach to library sustainability, as well as the challenges presented by sustainable preservation practices. The author addresses concerns including reducing the amount of waste produced, recycling options, and availability of environmentally friendly supplies through the presentation of a case study. In addition, the article further explores the complexities of sustainable preservation by promoting continued discussion on finding the balance between accepted preservation best practices and emerging trends in sustainable solutions.4