Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Archiving Objective

A couple of years ago the idea of creating an archive would have bored me to tears but my brief stint at Fareham Reference Library exposed me to some seriously good librarians who showed me the value of keeping materials that isn't available in any other way and providing access to it. There is a considerable body of stuff at work that needs to be properly archived so essentially this objective is about:

a) Learning how to catalogue and preserve archive material.
b) Reviewing current archiving procedures to take into account the space available and the limitations of the LMS.
c) Bringing the current archive into line with the new policies. Easy huh!

To tackle a) I'll be on the look out for some local courses but unfortunately the amount of time that I can spend on this is limited. This is a working computing research library and in terms of business justification my priority is always going to have to be on the current stock.

As far as b) goes - there are a number of problems with the current system. As I see it these are:

1) The library was running out of space to store older material; 2) Archived materials (anything relating directly to the company) were shelved and catalogued in the same collection as relegated lending stock. This meant that every time the store was weeded it was necessarily to re-identify archived items. There was a danger of archive material being disposed of by accident and also the work was replicated every year. 3) Archived material was not physically identified. This meant that when archived material was returned after being loaned it often ended up being shelved back with the general lending stock. 4) Consistency. As none of the archiving procedures were documented there is a danger that as library staffing changes the collection will be treated in different ways.

Now all I have to do is fix these problems!

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