The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 26, Number 6
Oct 2003


Study on Preservation Education

The American Library Association is seeking participants in a new study on current activities and future needs for preservation education in North America. The title is "Preservation Education Needs for the Next Generation of Information Professionals".

Nature of the Study:

Preservation education is a critical need for librarians and archivists, particularly as the scope of their preservation responsibilities continues to widen to include new formats, and as the library and archival community continues its commitment to building digital libraries or historically and culturally significant material. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the current educational preparation is inadequate, given these new responsibilities. The investors hope to obtain a more complete picture of the present course offerings in preservation, for the purposes of testing the hypothesis that current preservation education does not provide adequate preparation in the areas of technical and managerial expertise to deal with the preservation of material such as digital collections, audiovisual media, and visual materials.

This study will lay the groundwork for a larger project which aims to thoroughly document activities in the field of preservation education during the last decade, and how university and field service programs can best place themselves to provide the needed knowledge and expertise to effectively administer preservation programs in libraries and archives. Ultimately, the investigators hope to formulate specific recommendations for directing preservation education in the next decade.

Type of Participation Sought

We are seeking participation from individuals responsible for preservation coursework at American Library Association-accredited institutions (those which offer undergraduate and graduate-level degrees in library, archival, and/or information studies), as well as individuals at organizations providing continuing education in the area of preservation (such as field service programs).

How to Participate

If you would like to contribute information to this study, please contact Dr. Karen Gracy by e-mail at PresEd@mail.sis.pitt.edu or phone 412-624-7679. You may also visit the following website to submit your contact information: http://www.sis.pitt.edu/~kgracy/Pres_Edu_Study.htm.

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