Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Morning with PAIG

This morning was the meeting of the Preservation Administrators Interest Group at the ALA annual conference. Below are my notes pretty much as a keyed them in. I've done only minor cleanup. I apologize for any errors or oversights they might contain.

Preservation Administrators' Interest Group
began at 8am in a warm room in the Hyatt (fortunately the AC kicked in)

PARS Chair - Ann Marie Miller
PAIG happening on Sat morning - ALA condensing conference to fewer days
changes to ALA conference to streamline/condense space and time
- programs held to 1-1.5 hr sessions
- Interest Groups limited to 1-1.5 hours, except PAIG
consolidated into convention center (less spread out to hotels)
Exploring hybrid live/online approaches
PARS used an emerging leaders group to investigate doing hybrid sessions

Julie Mosbo - pres lib at Southern Ill @ Carbondale on Preservation Week
improved social media presence on FB and twitter
building up content on @ your library
2 official webinars
family textiles 250+ attended
preserving personal digi photograph 500+ attended

Pres week 2013 Apr 21-27 (also gave dates through 2016. 2014 & 2015 include May Day)

IMLS Pres Ad Fellowship - 8 fellows
A program funded by IMLS at Yale and NYPL
Evelyn Frangakis - chief preservation @ NYPL

Kevin Cherry of IMLS spoke - they have a new strategic plan includes one part on collections/preservation
working with LC on Digital Stewardship residency
Designed to give opportunites to put theory into practice in context of seasoned preservation professionals

There were tons of applicants.
All 8 spoke - They each went through the different preservation units and then worked on a specific project. My notes are a pale reporting of the interesting projects they worked on. And my note taking had a tendency to fade away as the morning progressed.

Kimberly Peach @ Yale
Pres condition assessment of AV collection at Beinicke
Sha had no previous hands on experience in AV
Media with no built-in container (like reel-to-reel tape) more liable to damage
Most av formats not affected by acidic housing (except laquer discs)
Recommendations - mast majority of problems had simple rememdies
Include these steps into accesioning process - e.g. pop cassette safety tab
Brain of pres ad has to hand problems of all shapes and sizes (tupperware ball puzzle)

Emily Vinson @ NYPL - arrived amidst move
Developed shipping guidelines for AV
Handling guidelines for 78s
Planned move of archives of recorded sound
Inspected film, learned splicing
Discussed politics of prioritizing conservation
Research project - disaster plan
How to define disaster?
6 degrees of disaster

Kevin O'Sullivan - @ Yale
2nd half ofCondition survey of AV at Beinecke
4166 items surveyed from 196 collections
used Columbia AVDb tool
Great thing about these fellowhsips is funding to visit many conferences/institutions

Martha Horan & Jonah Volk
Administrative skills
Rotated through depts - registrar, audio preservation (disc cleaning & disc sleeve project), conservation lab, collections care lab,
Also worked on special projects - survey of AV materials, hiring decisions care and handling FAQs for website
worked on Preservation Week events
Their major project was a Microfilm Legacy Research Project. (Yay microfilm!)
NYPL holds 190000 masters - goes back to 1930s
Physical and intellectual control assessment
48000 uncatalogged.
Trying to correlate 1st and 2nd gen masters and catalog records
(It was a great demonstration on how qood cataloging is a preservation issue. Need to know what you have.)
Did physical assessment of mf - identify base, amount of acetate.
Discovered practice of storing 2 copies on 1 reel Master and print master. (This sounds like a ridiculously odd practice.)
Were able to pinpoint date of switch from acetate to polyester as May/June of 1990
With this date they could calculate ~74% collection was acetate

Annie Peterson @ Yale (then Pres Librarian @ Tulane)
Disaster plan for high density facilty
Followed FEMA Incident Command System - very scalable
"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything." Dwight D Eisenhower
Did table-top exercise during process - gave info to adapt plan.
web based survey tool

Nick Szzzzzzzzzzzz (I didn't get his last name but I think it had an S and a Z in it) and Kim Tarr fellows @ NYPL
Nick worked on a Redesign of Preservation Division Statistics Collection
This was in part a response to NYPL reorg.
Single database to store data related to production and time usage
Integrate project tracking with individual time tracking

Kim Tarr survey of audio storage spaces
IPI "Storage is single most important whatever to ensure long-term preservation" (My argument with that statement is it only is correct for items that see little/no use.)

Questions from Roberta Pillette
Where is our next genereation of pres admins coming from?
WHere are the jobs for this next generation?
What is the core theoretical knowledge for this next gen?
Is it possible to get this knowledge in a single course?

Ended with discussion of place of digital preservation in the fellowships, as well the the place of digital preservation within the larger preservation library organization.
Much hand wringing - not much for answers.

My question is the sustainability of such a model of professional development which looked like it took a lot of administrative work, and a lot of expense for sending these people all over the place to differnt libraries and conferences. Yes, these are all valuable experiences, but is providing this kind of oustanding training experience for a few limiting the training opporutnities for the many?

2nd half
Tribute to Jan Merrill-Oldham - preservation legend
directed Weissman preservation at Harvard
Paul Parisi  of Acme Binding - rewrote LBI standard with Jan and reduced use of oversewing - the long-time binding standard
Wes Boomgaarden of Ohio State spoke
Remembrances read from Gay Walker, Oliver Cutshaw, Jane Hedberg.

Beth Doyle, announced a Jan Merrill-Oldham professional development grant sponsored by LBI to reward young/new professinals
1st awardee - Helen Bailey (award at june 24 @ 5:30 ACC room 208c)

IMLS grant digitization data collection
Jacqueline Bronicki UM Validating the quality of digitized books for long-term preservation (Preliminary findings on digitization error looking at scanning by Google and Internet Archive)
"What is quality?"
"What difference does lack of quality make to users?"
"how low can the bar be set to be acceptable?" (This question asks the professional to look at quality and standards in a way that "traditional preservation" is not used to. I think the common approach would be how high can I set the standards and still be sustainable.)
Error model - 11 error types, severity scale
Metrics phase is (done) Measurement phase is (current) Use studies - does the user care about the errors will be in the(future)
Metrics of 3 aspects
Data / Entire page / whole volume (first 2 on scale, 3rd on binary)
broken and thick font - highest frequency errors
also have material errors (Paul COnway - He's seen the future of books and it is fingers)
Also looked at internet Archive - very different story - different error types - they try to keep background color
Divided study into 4 lots
Google pre 1923 English
Google pre 1923 serials
IA pre 1932 English
Non-Roman script

Most of the errors are low level errors - thick and broken
Internet Archive results are very different problems with colorization tone, skew, and blur - but still low level.
How do you determine what's a bad book - how many pages had a level 4 or 5 error
IA had very few books with catastrophic errors, not as good with Google
Also looked at physical characteristics of volumes which were scanned (which included interlibrary loaning a lot of material from other Hathi libraries)
The most significant corelated to errors was publishing year
(I really found this a fascinating report. It had a lot of data which I enjoy but it also asks challenging questions about quality and what are you trying to accomplish with a digitization project. I look forward to hearing about their future studies of how users respond to the presence of errors.




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