Mission and Policy Statements

Mission Statement

Preservation staff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System are committed to ensuring long-term access to the libraries’ research collections through a variety of preventive and remedial preservation strategies.

Policy Statement

The Preservation Department of the University of Wisconsin General Library System supports the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the university through our committment to ensuring long-term access to the libraries’ research collections. This is achieved through a variety of preservation strategies.

1. Environment:

  • Monitor and make recommendations for maintaining an acceptable environment for all formats held by the libraries and help to achieve desired results by encouraging adherence to accepted storage and shelving practices as resources allow.

2. Security:

  • Work with other library staff and community services to provide adequate security for library materials

3. Disaster Preparedness:

  • Prepare for and respond to incidents that may threaten collections. Endeavor to keep the disaster response plan updated and to train a network of library personnel for disaster reponse and salvage.

4. Last copy issues:

  • Maintain an acute awareness of last copy issues and assume responsibility for retention of originals and/or preservation-quality reformatting of materials in GLS collections;

5. Bibliographic access:

  • Contribute to the OCLC international bibliographic database complete and accurate bibliographic records for reformatted materials, and track all materials in the local library database, in order to ensure access to both local and remote users.

6. Collaboration — local, consortial, national, international:

  • Work with campus, system, and other U.S. and international libraries on preservation matters. Cooperate with other libraries of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) to advance preservation efforts in the areas of preservation of content, cooperative purchasing, evaluation/assessment, and information sharing, as outlined in CIC Preservation Officers Strategic Directions, March 28, 2003.
  • Accept and act upon the Association of Research Libraries’ tenets regarding preservation, as put forth in The Responsibility of Research Libraries for Preservation, May 22, 2002 (www.arl.org/preserv/presresources/responsibility_preservation~print.shtml) and Research Libraries’ Enduring Responsibility for Preservation, July 24, 2007 (www.arl.org/bm~doc/preservation_responsibility_24july07.pdf).
  • Work with the broader preservation and technology communities toward the goal of developing the safeguards and standards necessary for acceptance of digital technologies as trusted preservation media.

7. Preventative and remedial preservation:

  • Employ established treatments (e.g., binding/rebinding, repair, rehousing, deacidification), in accordance with designated standards and guidelines for methods and materials, in order to maintain the original in a useable condition.
  • Rely on mature technologies, governed by widely accepted standards and guidelines, when reformatting to microfilm or paper facsimile.
  • Utilize digitizing technologies to reduce handling of fragile originals and to enhance discovery of research materials via online access.

8. Preservation Education:

  • Assume responsibility for preservation education of library staff and users on campus and throughout the state via various means, including preservation committees, consulting, workshops, exhibits, printed handouts and other graphic materials.

9. Surveys:

  • Conduct surveys, as necessary, to gather data for use in defining goals and objectives necessary to maintaining research collections.