Libraries celebrate Preservation Week @ your library

Preservation Week at your library, April 21-27, 2013

During the week of April 21-27, libraries will celebrate Preservation Week @ your library.

It is a time for libraries to highlight what all of us can do to preserve our personal and shared collections.

The week is highlighted by events and activities, as library patrons receive valuable tips on how to handle everything from home movies to old letters and newspapers.

Libraries, museums, archives and other organizations work every day to preserve cultural history.  Over 4.8 billion artifacts are held in public trust by more than 30,000 archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, scientific research collections and archaeological repositories in the United States.

Why is preservation important?  Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan such as natural disasters, and 1.3 billion of these items are at risk of being lost. If billions of items are at risk at our heritage institutions, than plausibly trillions of items held by the general public are at risk.

During Preservation Week libraries all over the country present events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.

Here are some resources to help you preserve your family treasures and learn what to when disaster strikes. There’s also an activity guide filled with fun projects to get the whole family involved.

For Preservation Week 2013, the American Library Association (ALA) has created a new section on the Preservation @your Library website focusing on issues that military personnel, their families and their friends encounter when they want to save, document or record their family’s military experience.

Librarians who serve this community were asked for information and suggestions based on their interaction with their patrons. Their wonderful feedback has made this new webpage,For Military Families, possible (http://atyourlibrary.org/passiton/military-families). The page features articles and resources. New, print-ready handouts, “Quick Preservation Tips: for Military Families” and “Quick Preservation Tips: Take the First Step” can be passed on to library patrons for easy reference.

This information is just the tip of the iceberg, and this effort is the beginning of a much longer conversation. To share personal stories that illustrate the importance of saving and preserving meaningful keepsakes for future family members, please share them on thePreservation Week Facebook page. Your stories and examples can encourage military families to take the time to preserve these important memories.

There are additional resources recommended to help librarians who serve military families and veterans on the Preservation Week website.

Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author, is the first national spokesperson for Preservation Week. Berry started as spokesperson in January 2012 with an appearance at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, where he gave the keynote presentation at the Preservation Week 2012 Kick Off, sponsored by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). He also commented on his role and the Preservation Week initiative in a YouTube video. We are thrilled that Steve Berry has agreed to continue as Preservation Week Spokesperson for 2013.

Berry is the author of 10 novels, including his most recent book, The Columbus Affair (Ballantine, May 2012), featuring as protagonist Tom Sagan, a disgraced Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. His next book, The King’s Deception, will be released in June 2013.

Berry’s works have been translated into 40 languages with more than 12 million books in print in 51 countries worldwide. Other titles include The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris VendettaThe Alexandria Link and The Venetian Betrayal.

A devoted student of history, Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, founded History Matters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding the preservation of the fragile reminders of our past. Since then, they have traveled the world raising much-needed funds for a wide range of historic preservation projects.

In a recent Wall Street Journal interview (Nov. 2, 2011), Mr. Berry notes, “What are we losing when that [on being told of the rapid loss of our historical record] happens? We’re losing windows to the past, thoughts to the past and ideas to the past, and that really affected me.”

A native of Georgia, Steve Berry graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. You can learn more about Steve Berry and History Matters at steveberry.org.

As National Spokesperson, Berry appears in print and digital public service announcements (PSAs) promoting Preservation Week. Other promotional materials include a sample op-ed, proclamation, press release and scripts for use in radio ads.  All tools are available at www.ala.org/preservationweek.

Preservation Week is also part of the ALA @yourlibrary campaign.  Visit thepreservation@yourlibrary page at www.atyourlibrary/passiton.

Preservation Week @ your library is an initiative, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

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