The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 6
Oct 1990

State Laws Concerning Permanent Paper

Six states are known to have passed laws requiring the use of alkaline or permanent paper for books and/or records: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia. Sometimes the relevant part of the law is only a sentence (as in the case of Indiana) in a bill on sane related subject, or a few paragraphs (as in the case of Connecticut). The texts are published here in order to a) encourage action in the states that do not yet have laws of their own, and b) show how the framers of existing laws met the challenges of terminology, enforcement and technical issues. Where text has been omitted, this is indicated with an ellipsis (...).

Connecticut - Public Act No. 89-167

An Act Concerning the Records Management Program, the Use of Alkaline Paper in the Printing of State Records and a Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened: ...

(f) Each state agency shall cooperate with the state librarian to carry out the provisions of this section, and shall designate an agency employee to serve as the records Management liaison officer for this purpose.

Sec. 3. Section 1-9 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No person having custody of any permanent record or register in any department or office of the state, or of any political subdivision thereof, or of any probate district, shall use or permit to be used for recording purposes any paper other than alkaline papers that conform to American National Standards for Permanent Paper for Printed Library Materials (ANSI Z3948) approved by the public records administrator. Said administrator shall furnish to each person having custody of any such permanent record a list of such papers. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.

Arizona - Public Records, Printing & Notices (§ 39-101: Permanent public records; quality; storage; violation; classification)

A. Permanent public records of the state, a county, city or town, or other political subdivision of the state, shall be transcribed or kept on paper or other material which is of durable or permanent quality and which conforms to standards established by the director of the department of library, archives and public records.

B. Permanent public records transcribed or kept as provided in subsection A shall be stored and maintained according to standards for the storage of permanent public records established by the director of the department of library, archives and public records.

C A public officer charged with transcribing or keeping such public records who violates this section is guilty of a class 2 Misdemeanor.

North Carolina - 1989 Session Ratified Bill: Chapt. 715, Senate Bill 62

An act to require state publications procedures manuals, administrative review procedures for publications, and to require reports concerning the use of acid-free paper in state publications and concerning agency noncompliance.

Whereas, a large number of publications are produced by State agencies, universities, community colleges and licensing boards; and

Whereas, no consistent policy exists concerning the development of State publication procedures by State agencies, universities, community colleges, and licensing boards; and

Whereas, the existence of State publication procedures &O administrative review procedures would serve to aid distribution, increase efficiency, and reduce the cost of State publications ; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts: ...

§ 143-170.3 Reports; Audits....

(c) The State Librarian and the University Librarian of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shall identify the types of publications for which the use of acid-free paper is desirable and, with the assistance of the Department of Administration, shall study the availability of acid-free paper and the costs associated with purchasing and using acid-free paper. The State Librarian and the University Librarian of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shall report to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations no later than November 1, 1990 the information required by this subsection....

Colorado - Senate Bill 90-78

An act concerning the use of acid-free, alkaline-based, or permanent type paper in certain government publications.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

Section 1. Article 5 of title 2, Colorado Revised Statutes 1980 repl. Vol., as amended, is amended by the addition of a new section to read:

2-5-105.5. Publications - paper specification. (1)

In any contract Entered into after July 1, 1991, to publish or print the Colorado Revised Statutes pursuant to section 2-5-105, the contract shall specify that any paper used shall be acid-free, alkaline-based, or permanent type paper that conform to the American national standards for permanent paper for printed library materials (ANSI Z 3948).

(2) This provision shall not affect any contract that is in effect an July 1, 1991.

Section 2. Part 2 of article 70 of title 24, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1988 Repl. Vol., as amended, is amended by the addition of a new section to read:

24-70-203.5. Printing - paper specification. (1) Any public printing for purpose of a permanent record authorized by the general assembly shall be printed on acid-free, alkaline-based, or permanent type paper that conform to American national standards for permanent paper for printed library materials (ANSI Z 3948). Use of such permanent type paper shall be appropriately noted in the publication.

(2) The general assembly hereby recommends the use of acid-free, alkaline-based, or permanent type paper by state agencies publishing documents meant to be permanent public records.

Section 3. Effective date. This act shall take effect July 1, 1991.

Section 4. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.

Virginia - 1990 Session House Joint Resolution No. 36 Requesting the State Librarian to study the feasibility of the printing of all state publications and public records on alkaline paper.

Whereas extensive research has proven that the acid present in most writing and printing paper produced since the mid-nineteenth century has drastically reduced the life of books, documents, and other publications; and

Whereas, there has been a serious deterioration of the holdings of the libraries and archives on the state and national levels; and

Whereas, large expenditures of funds will be required during the next several decades to prevent the further deterioration of holdings printed on acidic papers by deacidifying the paper; and

Whereas, the potential loss of a high percentage of the publications and unique records produced over the course of more than a century poses a threat to the continuity of the documentary heritage of the Commonwealth;

Whereas, this problem can be alleviated by printing on alkaline paper, which is readily available and which has a prospective life of several hundred years; and

Whereas, the National Information Standards Organization has urged American publishers to use paper meeting ANSI Standard Z39.48-1984 for the printing of publications of enduring value; and

Whereas, the Depository Council to the Public Printer of the United States adopted a recommendation on October 16, 1987, that permanent paper be used for federal government publications of enduring value; and

Whereas, the American Library Association adopted a resolution on January 13, 1988, urging (i) publishers to use paper meeting ANSI Standard Z39.48-1984, (ii) the United States Congressional Joint Committee on Printing to adopt standards for permanent papers and to encourage agencies of the federal government to use such paper for publications of enduring value, and (iii) appropriate agencies of state and local governments to adopt similar policies; and

Whereas, one of the duties of the State Librarian as provided in §42.1-15 is the proper preservation and care of the State Library and Archives; and

Whereas, the Virginia Public Records Act, § 42.1-77 et seq., establishes a State Public Records Advisory Council which is responsible for proposing to the State Library Board regulations and standards for the establishment of uniform guidelines for the management and preservation of public records throughout the Commonwealth; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the State Librarian conduct a study on the feasibility of the use of alkaline paper for all state publications and official records. included in the study shall be the consideration of the costs associated with the use of alkaline paper.

The State Librarian shall complete the study in time to submit the findings and any recommendations to the

Governor and the 1991 Session of the General Assembly as provided in the procedures of the Division of the Legislative Automated System for processing legislative documents.

[Note: In Virginia, the governor does not have to sign joint resolutions, so they keep their name and become law when the legislature passes them.]

Indiana - Senate Bill No. 415

A Bill for an Act to amend the Indiana r-ode concerning environmental management.

SECTION 3. IC 5-15-5.1-20 is amended to read as follows: Sec. 20. (a) The oversight committee shall:

(1) establish standards for safeguarding personal information systems which shall be followed by agencies maintaining such system; (2) approve the content of all forms which involve confidential records; and (3) require use of archival quality paper for records that the commission determines should be preserved indefinitely.

(b) The oversight committee may adopt such rules under IC 4-22-2 as it deems necessary for the performance of its duties, consistent with the provisions of this chapter and other applicable laws of this state. [Jan. 19891

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