April 19th, 2011

Preserve Your Collectibles

NGC research library

We received this press release about Preservation Week. Find out where you can get information this month about preserving your books and coins.

CHICAGO – This spring, many Americans will be cleaning out old closets, store rooms, attics and basements, struggling with what to do with keepsake items. From April 24–30, thousands will turn to their local library to celebrate the Preservation Week @ your library, a time when libraries across the country will provide information and expertise on how to preserve collectibles, photos, family records, books and other valuable materials.

During Preservation Week @ your library, themed “Pass it on,” participating libraries will offer special programs and services that will help connect library users with preservation tools; promote the importance of preservation; and will strive to enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the general public.

Over 4.8 billion artifacts are held in public trust by more than 30,000 archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, scientific research collections and archaeological repositories in the United States. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan, and 1.3 billion of these items are at risk of being lost. If billions of items are at risk at our heritage institutions, then plausibly trillions of items held by the general public are at risk.

Key environmental factors that place collections at risk include light, pollutants, moisture and heat. Items that can benefit from preservation both at home and in U.S. collections include books, manuscripts, photographs, prints and drawings, objects such as maps, textiles, paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and furniture. They also include moving images and sound recordings that capture performing arts, oral history and other records of our creativity and history.

Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association, in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, launched Preservation Week @ your library in 2010.

For more information on Preservation Week @ your library please visit www.ala.org/preservationweek.

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