“Pass It On”: There’s a Preservation Display

Connie Ostrove, visiting from the Bexley Historical Society Museum, works to preserve a document during an OHIO Libraries' Preservation Workshop at the Hwa-Wei Lee Library Annex on  Friday, October 11, 2013. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)
Connie Ostrove, visiting from the Bexley Historical Society Museum, works to preserve a document during an OHIO Libraries’ preservation workshop at the Hwa-Wei Lee Library Annex on October 11, 2013. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/University Libraries)

Have you ever come across a fragile book with a cracked spine, loose pages and every indication that it’s about to “give up the ghost”? Did you place it back on the shelf, fearing you would be the one to bring about its demise?

The Libraries’ Preservation Lab works to ensure that such a scenario is rare. Miriam Nelson, head of preservation, and her staff at the Hwa-Wei Lee Library Annex regularly maintain and repair collections to ensure their continued accessibility.

If the book were a patient, the Preservation Lab would be its hospital.

“We are responsible for providing the variety of treatments required to prolong the usable life of the materials you need for research,” Nelson said, “as well as those that may document the story of our institution. “

This week, the Alden community has an opportunity to better understand those maintenance and repair processes. “Preservation Week 2014: The Tools of Preservation,” a display located in the cases near the fourth floor stairwell, showcases the instruments the lab uses to maintain the “health” of the Libraries’ materials.

Nelson prepared the display in celebration of American Library Association Preservation Week, a national initiative devoted to raising awareness of American libraries’ efforts to preserve information and cultural heritage. The week also strives to inspire individual actions to preserve personal, family and community collections of all kinds.

Be sure to visit!