Live from ALA in New Orleans, It’s PAIG!

Welcome to New Orleans where it is a fantastic 85 degrees and the Morial Convention Center (aka “the MCC” — the hub for ALA activities) is a mere 2.0 miles in length, which will be useful in walking off all the good food and drink I plan on consuming.  Always first on most every preservation -nista / -ninja’s schedule: the Preservation Administration Interest Group (PAIG).  Feel free to contribute comments and your notes in the comments field.

From Baby Steps to Full Strides: Preservation Week Update
Jeanne Drewes, Chief Binding and Collections Care Division, Program Manager, Mass Deacidification, Preservation Directorate, Library of Congress
  • In its inaugural year in 2010, Preservation Week consisted of 66 events in 22 states.
  • In 2011, 100+ events in 32 states
  • Events took place mainly in academic libraries and public libraries … and three webinars!
  • April 22 – 29, 2012
  • Visit the Preservation Week website
  • Success stories from the field:
    • Harvard University could not participate during the official Preservation Week dates (due to final exam schedules), but they had a slightly later Preservation Week to great success
    • Yale University Library did a visual demonstration of what it would be like to have a major preservation [Tara has promised to post images to the new Yale Library Preservation website soon], tagging books with green bands to note an item that has received preservation attention (bound, repaired, reformatted) and orange bands for items that need preservation.  Collections subject areas included: science, humanities (history), “Old Yale” (old call number series of 19th century materials).  Lesson learned: took some work to find sections that were not overrun with bound serials.
Also of note: the Library of Congress has re-designed the website of the Preservation Directorate, with a lot of new content including a model contract for emergency response services.
A New Tool for Prioritizing Collections for Emergency Plans
Tara Kennedy, Preservation Field Services Librarian, Yale University Library
[Tara has promised to put template spreadsheet up soon on the Field Services / Emergency Planning and Response area of the Yale Library Preservation website]
  • assign value to materials in call number ranges or locations (i.e., unprocessed audio collections in the closet next to the reference desk)
  • Questions: vital records?  high importance to readers?  irreplaceable?  format difficult to salvage?  high monetary / scholarly value?  etc.
  • high priorty = score 1 (must be salvaged)
    medium priority score 2 – could be replaced, but cost of replacement exceeds cost of salvage
    low priority – score 3
    the lower the score, the higher the priority
  • color code into spreadsheet, then color code a map
  • can’t just hand over a questionnaire to collection manager — best in-person interview in order to prompt
  • Takes a day or two
  • Maps held by Preservation Dept, library administration, and library collection manager  (i.e., won’t be online).
  • Haven’t done the high density storage yet (problem: stuff doesn’t always go back to same place each time).
Validating Quality in Large-Scale Digitization
Jackie Bronicki, Associate Librarian – IMLS Project Coordinator, University of Michigan:
  • Researching quality in Hathitrust (currently 52 partners, 8.8 million volumes, 3 billion pages)
  • Hathitrust will eventually will be 3rd or 4th largest collection of library materials (per the ARL Stats)
  • Hathitrust is so much more than just a digital repository: lots of user tools (newest: page turner, various page views, a section on copyright data)
  • OCR is what it is: some mistakes
  • Paul Conway: has there been a knee-jerk reaction about poor quality digitization in the blogosphere? (here’s looking at you, Roy Tennant, Paul Duguid, and Robert Darnton)
  • interesting CLIR report to check out: The Idea of Order: Transforming Research Collections for 21st Century Scholarship (2010)
  • a lot of error is source error, not error created during the scanning process — for example, the text is printed incorrectly and runs off a page; or, source (print) blur vs. scanning blur
  • other types of error: traces of human error (seeing the scanning processors hand) which the vendor then attempt to clean up and creates another layer of error; scanning effects (“periodic tiff-i-cation”)
  • Phase One of project: define metrics (define what an error is).  Second phase: measuring, Third / final phase: use-cases (reading online, reading volumes print on demand, processing full-text data, managing library print collections)
  • “Qualitative coders” (MLIS graduates with graphic / visual arts backgrounds look at error at three different levels:
    • 1: data / information
    • 2: entire page
    • 3: whole volume
  • Created an error severity scale (0: no error through 5: original content in affected area of the page cannot be unambiguously deciphered).  Focuses on readability.
  •  So far: 59 full volumes reviewed (19,000+ pages; 57,000+ pages tripe analyzed by coders).  Limited to Google digitized volumes in English.
  • Final thoughts in the slide capture below:

Investigating Library and Archives Conservation Education Needs: a Preliminary Study
Jennifer Hain Teper, Head, Preservation and Conservation Units, University of Illinois Libraries

  • very preliminary announcements of results
  • prompted by demise of UT preservation / conservation program, Mellon funding for development of programs at Winterthur, NYU, and Buffalo, and the ongoing discussions at conferences on the importance of library science / information studies in the training of future preservation and conservation professionals
  • 145 responses
  • Interesting initial results — remember, still a lot of number crunching to follow:
    • lots of graduates from 2000-2010 who are working in the field at present (39% of respondents)
    • 52.7% received graduate degrees with specialization in conservation; 44.5% identified their area of concentration as book and paper
    • percentage of respondents who had “a traditional conservation apprenticeship” (what is that?!?): 24.7% — one person had an eleven year apprenticeship …
    • 17% of respondents were grant funded in their first full-time job, while 6% went into private practice
    • average length of time that a conservator stays in their first professional position: 6.1 years
    • 23% of respondents (who self-identified as having conservation training by virtue of participating in this survey) admit that their primary responsibility is preservation administration; 1% claimed their primary responsibility as hybrid conservation (both general / circulating and special collections conservation)
    • value of respondents degree (not necessarily an MLIS degree, remember!) to their day to day job: 51% responded very useful
    • 43% of respondents have written successful grant applications
    • only 33% of respondents have published in peer-review journals
    • 49% publish “web content” … blogs?  websites?  what does this mean?
    • … also examined participation in analytical research, teaching, outreach, professional organization membership and activity …
    • might compare with other conservation fields, with preservation professionals
Library Collections: Results from the Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2010
Matthew Long, Analyst, and Ross Housewright, Senior Analyst, Ithaka S+R
  • for the sake of live blawgin’ … can I just saw that anytime I see the fellows from Ithaka that I just want to hollar YACHT ROCK?  And that I’m a bit punch drunk at this point from lack of food and sleep.
  • This survey asks library directors similar questions to the recent faculty survey plus a few additional questions on the future and how they’ll plan.
  • in short, library directors think everything that they do is important, but most especially their roles facilitating teaching, supporting undergraduate information literacy, and research support.  To contrast, faculty had a much different perspective — greatest difference in the same top 3 (teaching support, undergrad literacy, research support). What faculty want from library is purchasing — “new things”
  • and fancy this: if library directors were given 10% more budget this year, what would they want?  1) more online or digital journals and 2) more tools for discovery (OPACs, federated search, etc.).  Print preservation ranked very low … just above more administrative staff and more money for print journals.
  • library directors plan to spend less on print journals (51% less) and print books (31% less) in the next five years, bringing the balance of print to digital to 12%/81% for journals and 54%/46% for books
  • library directors are much more “completely comfortable” than faculty with their library’s journal subscriptions ceasing to be available in print and publishing only in electronic form: 70% of library directors vs. 39% of faculty
  • file under they haven’t lost their minds yet: only 7% of library directors believe that within the next five years the use of electronic / online materials will be so prevalent among faculty and students that it will not be necessary to maintain library collections of hard copy books
  • library binding alert!  About 70% of libraries have ceased binding new print issues
  • So then Ithaka proposed the dream scenario (for books!): there’s a super awesome and trustable digital repository for books with third party administered and again super trustworthy digital preservation plans in place.  How will would you be to withdraw your collections of print books?  29% of library directors would be very likely, 38% ambivalent, 33% not likely at all
    • now, if they could get on-demand access to a print version via a sharing network, 90% would be more likely to withdraw print book collections
I have to hand it to the Ithaka guys: they’ve listened to us.  This presentation very clearly split the analysis of “print collections” (a term they’d been taken to task for using too eagerly in the past when they truly only meant journal collections) into books and journals.  Bravo!
  • MIT Libraries: Jennifer Banks is retiring and the job (Head, Curation and Preservation Serivces) has been reconfigured and posted.
  • The NYPL and Yale IMLS Preservation Administration fellows will be giving a presentation of their projects at ALA Annual 2012.

One Response

  1. Thanks for your notes Holly. I miss being there!

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