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Preservation of Library Materials

A look into preservation and highlighting on the preservation of digital materials.
by

Kasey Kohler

on 4 May 2011

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Transcript of Preservation of Library Materials

Preservation of Library Materials Definition: The act or activity of keeping something in an existing
and usually satisfactory condition. Synonyms: Conservation
Protection
Maintenance
Continuation A branch of library and information science concerned with maintaining or restoring access to artifacts, documents and records through the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of decay and damage. Although conservation is commonly used interchangeably with preservation,
conservation refers to the treatment and repair of individual items to slow decay
or restore them to a usable state.
F.Y.I : Preservation is a practice that dates back to ancient times! Physical Material Digital Material The preservation of physical materical is especially important in the management of archives and special collections. Care of Materials: The Environment Emergencies Handling and Storage F.Y.I :

In some Christian monasteries, prayers and curses were placed at the end of books to prevent theft, or to damn the thieves. Importance (Significance) The proper storage of collections is the easiest way to ensure that limited damage is done to materials. Damage received from issues like shelf overcrowding, poor quality storage devices, haphazard organization, and similar issues are the often avoidable. Things to avoid:
- Pulling books off the shelf by the spine or book cap.
- Not supporting the cover of a book.
- Packing books to tightly or loosely.
- Sliding or dragging books across surfaces.
- Using rubber bands, paper clips, or bending corners on pages.
- Marking with pens or highlighters on text.
- Stacking books in piles. The best preventive method for ensuring books see a long shelf life is handling them in a delicate way. Education and example are a good way to make sure patrons are aware of the effect they have on the materials they use. There are many environmental factors that affect the lives of library material the main issues deal with temperature, light, humidity, and air. Temperature
- High temperature will aid in the acceleration of deterioration.
- Fluctuations in temperature is also damaging to materials.
- The suggested temperature in a library is lower than 70 degrees F. Humidity
- High humidity promotes excessive moisture.
- Low humidity causes dryness.
- The suggested humidity range in a library is
between 35-55%.
Temperature and humidity work as a team and need to be approach together because one will affect the other and in the end if they are ignored the library’s collection will suffer. Air
- Pollutants both gaseous and particles are harmful to materials in the library.
- Air quality is hard to control.
- An air filtering system is an effective way to try and control contaminants in the air. Light
- Direct sunlight with large levels of ultraviolet light is especially damaging to books.
- Long exposure to sunlight can cause materials color to fade.
- The best way to reduce light damage is to limit exposure and installing curtains to cover windows. Library Preservation: Natural disasters such as fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, etc are rare but there is a chance that a library can be affected. Having a disaster plan is one method libraries carry out to aid in the preservation of materials. Being prepared for a disaster is a very important part of prevention and the first step is to evaluate risks. There are two main types of disasters/emergencies. Man-made Disasters
- Power Outages
- Sprinkler Malfunctions
- Water Supply Failure
- Arson
- Bomb Threats
Natural Disasters
- Hurricane
- Tornado
- Flash Flooding
- Earthquakes
- Forest Fires
- Volcanic Eruptions Once risks are identified a plan to decrease these risks should be created. Based on the textbook Introduction to Technical Services for Library Technicians (Koa) every good disaster plan includes:

-Prevention and protection strategies
-A list of telephone numbers for library administrators and emergency services
-A list of emergency supplies kept in the library
-A list of commercial companies to order supplies
-A library floor plan indicating all water and electrical connections and locations of fire alarms and fire extinguishers
-Procedures and priorities to follow in the event disaster strikes
-A list of people and organizations that can provide assistance and services Regular building expectations and proper maintenance is very important in making sure preventable disasters are averted. Prioritizing What materials in the library should be the focus of preservation? This depends on a number of factors. Use
-The number of times the material is used is very important in determining if a specific item should be a target for preservation.
-If an item is frequently used it is common to see signs of damage and are at a high risk for urgent preservation attention.
Value
-Preservation treatment is often very expensive so not every
material in the library is eligible.
- Sometimes replacement is a better option than treatment
depending on the value of the material.
Prioritizing also depends on the type of library. Public libraries often have a more laid back preservation style but a archive/special library can specialize in preserving materials. Food and drink should be prohibited from the library. Spilt food or drink can attract insects and rodents who are also attracted to the cellulose found in books. Proper extermination procedures should follow the finding of an infestation. Digital preservation is a process of converting material to ensure it’s accessibility over a long period of time. Digital preservation is a very costly and labor intensive method. The process of digital preservation starts with scanning material and then converting the information to electronic data and finally storing the data on a computer to be accessed another time. There is a lot of risk associated with preserving materials in a digital way. The risk of loss is high as technology develops and most digital materials are not expected to last over ten years if they are not updated frequently. One of the benefits of digital preservation is that open up many doors to providing a larger accessibility to information. Copies can be made easier and more people can view the material compared to the physical material. Also once a digital copy is made it usually means less handling of the original copy therefore protecting it from damage and preserving it. Creating, managing and using files are part of the process surrounding a digital object Digital preservation provides many different challenges than physical preservation. Digital materials require a lot of planning, resource allocation, and application of preservation methods and of course sufficient technology. F.Y.I :

During World War II the original copies of the U. S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence was taken from the Library of Congress and kept at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The development of digital technology I've seen in my lifetime. (1990+) Floppy Disks! CD-ROM! USB Who knows what the future will bring! Treatment
Once a material is found to be needing repair there are a number of steps to take to repair the material. Water Damaged Books One of the most common damage to books comes from water. 5 types of drying methods: Air drying: When a material is slightly wet it should be placed in a room with very low temperature and humidity. The air should be moving and this is possible with the help of fans. Over a period of time the material with dry out and it can be returned to the shelf. Dehumidification: When books are moderately wet books should be left where they are and a large dehumidifier should be brought in and used in a controlled temperature and humidity. Freezer drying: For this method wet books such quickly be placed in a freezer (below -10). Vacuum thermal drying: When materials are severely water damaged they should be put in a vacuum thermal drying chamber and dried. In this case the vacuum works with high heat. One of the downsides of this method is that is it expensive. Vacuum freeze drying: This method is used on a large amount of very wet material. It is also high in cost but is the most effective process to fight water damage. Wet materials are froze first and then vacuum-dried while still frozen. Fire Damaged Books Unfortunately there is little treatment that can be done once a book is burned. The common result of fire damage is to replace the book or collection. An important part of making sure fires do not destroy a collection is to have a fire detection system and sprinklers along with regular building inspections. Although books will also be damaged by water sprinkler systems it is treatable damage. Evacuation plans should also be in effect in order to protect both users and staff in the event of a fire. The Triana Public Library was destroyed by fire the night of September 20, 2009. The library lost 6,122 books and 3 computers to the fire Insect/Rodent Damage One of the most effective ways to treat an infestation of insects is to freeze to the center of the material within 4 hours at ¬4 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 72 hours; then to thaw the materials over a 24 hour period. Some materials should not be frozen so it is best to look into each material specifically before freezing. The basic procedure for freezing a book is as follows:
Put the affected book in a plastic bag. Make sure there is no air in the bag so condensation does not form.
Put the bag into a freezer with no ice build-up.
Freeze for at least 72 hours.
Thaw book slowly.
Repeat until insects are dead. Bug traps and insecticides are also effective ways to get rid of insects. Insect damage is usually irreversible. Mice and rats are very harmful to collections because they destroy books in order to get paper for their nests. Their droppings are also corrosive and can leave permanent stains. Another serious effect of the presence of rodents in the library building is that they can cause fires by chewing though electrical cords. Just like with insect damage,
rodents destroy books beyond repair. If a rodent problem is discovered proper actions should be taken such as hiring an exterminator or setting up traps. What it all comes down to is... Preserving the information of today will ensure that it will be available to view in the future! F.Y.I :

“Preservation is an important yet often neglected component of technical services.” Koa, page 98 THE END. Thanks for viewing! F.Y.I :

Preservation Week is April 24-30, 2011.
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