Sunday, June 13, 2010

Statewide Survey Determines Preservation Needs

“Utah’s Connecting to Collections Project: A Statewide Preservation Initiative,” a 2009-2010 project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, includes a statewide web survey on preservation needs, and a series of Town Hall meetings to discuss key findings of the survey and garner feedback from cultural heritage staff at institutions around the state.

The project is being directed by representatives of a diverse group of heritage repositories. Led by Randy Silverman of the University of Utah Libraries, the Project Task Force also includes representation from the highest administrative levels of the Utah State Archives, Utah State Library, Utah State History, Office of Museum Services, Utah Academic Library Consortium, Brigham Young University, and the LDS Church History Department.

Beginning on September 4, 2009, the survey was available for eleven weeks. From a potential respondent universe of approximately 463 collecting institutions, 203 institutions completed surveys. Among the respondents to the survey, there were a large number of state and local government agencies, which are a group often overlooked in preservation planning. Public libraries, academic libraries, and history museums/repositories were the other leading respondent groups, although, all told, 16 different cultural heritage institution types completed at least one of the questionnaires.

Initial findings of the survey project cover many topics of interest in preservation, including planning and funding; training; existing and planned preservation activities; environmental control, security, and disaster preparedness; preservation resource sharing; digital collections; and institutional information including annual operating and preservation budgets. Survey results can be viewed in the final preservation report at