Supporting the Effort

Planning is essential to the development of preservation programs. This section addresses the process of assessing needs and articulating them in terms of library goals. The need for funding is discussed, along with various ways of developing funding initiatives. This section also deals with the development of public relations campaigns, which can be critical to finding outside funding.

Section 1. Resources

Planning is at the heart of resource management, and it is very important to develop the ability to examine existing management and operations and develop a long-range plan.

Section 2. Funding

Funding is especially crucial for preservation. Traditional library units such as technical services and public services, as well as newer units such as computer systems, generally have their funding secured because they are regarded as essential to the acquisition and organization of library materials. Preservation has only recently been recognized as a separate library function, and library funds are usually too scarce to allow redistribution of funding from established operational units. Thus preservation professionals must carve out support for their programs from the scant funding allocated to peripheral functions, from new funding within the institution, and from external sources.

Section 3. Public Relations

Public relations for preservation is largely concerned with reinforcing the positive image that a library or archive wishes to project about itself and its services. A positive image is projected when employees actively seek out opportunities and exploit them. A well developed, dynamic public relations program is not only in the best interests of the institution, but is paramount to the success of its preservation unit. Without such a program, the institution and its preservation program will remain invisible to the outside community and languish for lack of funds.

The main purpose of a public relations program is to positively influence the way the public, including consumers, media, academia, and government, views an institution's preservation activities. If conducted successfully, a well-run public relations program benefits both the preservation unit and the public.