Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pass it On: America's Library Heritage

I was delighted to learn that the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) of the American Library Association (ALA) is sponsoring the first Preservation Week May 9-15, 2010. That response might be expected from someone who has a website and blog that promotes "the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of our library heritage". Preservation of library collections is a worthy goal that is commonly accepted throughout the library community. So it is an ongoing source of personal frustration that the library community appears to have so little regard for the preservation of its own heritage. The theme for the ALCTS Preservation Week is "Pass it On". It is a great theme and can also be considered a plea from library history buffs and library historians everywhere to do your part in passing on your library's history and our collective library heritage. At the bottom of the Preservation Week website is a list of partners and sponsors that include the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), ALA, and the Library of Congress. These three library organizations are the ideal organizations to provide a leadership role in preserving our library heritage. Indeed, IMLS with its Connecting to Collections project has provided one model for how this could be done. The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is providing a state level model for promoting and preserving our library heritage. Our library heritage consists of archives, artifacts, architecture, and the memory of those librarians and library supporters who have handed down the legacy that is today's American library community. There are lots of ideas on the Preservation Week website that can be used to highlight and promote your library's heritage. Why not undertake some of them this year.

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