Safeguarding Document Collections
Date: April 20-21, 2006
Background: Following the 2005 Hurricane Season and the disruption of Katrina, the Preservation Directorate of the Library of Congress began a series of monthly salvage training workshops for the Chiefs of its various curatorial collections. These workshops were open, free of charge, to federal libraries and other institutional victims of Katrina.
In addition, the Preservation Directorate, as the North American representative to the International Federation of Library Associations Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation (IFLA PAC), extended its contacts to form the IFLA PAC North American Network (IFLA PAC NAN).
Members of the PAC NAN conducted weekly teleconferences in the months following Katrina, and determined that emergency mitigation would be its primary course of action. A decision was made to convene a meeting of experts to contribute to national and North American strategic planning in this arena.
Goals and Program Description: The goal of the meeting was two-fold. Day 1 was devoted to capturing oral histories of "first preservers" and conservators who aided library and archive collections in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season.
On Day 2, participants reviewed the findings of the Heritage Health Index survey pertinent to emergency preparedness for collections. Following the review, participants discussed steps necessary to develop funding support for emergency mitigation efforts in the 2007 calendar year.
Participants: Participants were senior professionals representing museums, libraries, archives, training institutions, consortia, and funding agencies.
Outcomes: Library staff used summaries of participant discussion to develop strategic planning objectives and to establish topics for a follow-up meeting in December 2006.
Support: This symposium was supported by the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, the American Folklife Division, and the IFLA PAC NAN.