LIBR 259-11
Preservation Management
Fall 2010 Greensheet

Katherine E. Skinner, PhD
E-mail (D2L site preferred)

Phone: 404-783-2534 (emergencies only; no calls after 9pm EST please)
Other contact points: Oovoo/Skype/Google IM (katherine.skinner)
Office Hours: Friday afternoons in Elluminate during optional Live Chat or by appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

ANGEL Information: All course material will be presented in ANGEL in weekly learning units. The units will be opened sequentially each week. The site will be available on Monday, 23 August 2010 by noon ET, and you may enroll starting that day. An enrollment code will be sent to you via MySJSU. Please enroll by Friday, 27 August, 2010.

Course Description

The course will provide a broad foundation in the historical, theoretical, managerial, analytical, and practical aspects of preservation, through the perspective of a practicing digital preservation administrator. The class will introduce students to both technical and conceptual issues in the preservation of library and archival materials. About a quarter of the class will be dedicated to analog preservation issues, over half to digital preservation management, and the remaining portion will address issues that relate to both.

“Digital preservation,” “digital archiving,” and “digital curation” are all terms that relate to the long‐term management of electronic data created by various institutional, governmental, and corporate entities. These concepts will be discussed in the context of e‐government, e‐commerce, education and research, e‐heritage, digital libraries, and personal archival collections.

The preservation field is evolving rapidly, and some technical knowledge is necessary to understand the implications of this evolution. Therefore, a few modules will offer an overview of key technical concepts.

Readings and lectures will provide an:

  • Overview of preservation history and the development of preservation as a discipline;
  • Awareness of the importance of appropriate environmental factors for long‐term management of library and archival collections; ‐ an understanding of text in a historical context and as a stable preservation method;
  • Overview of the origination and implications of microfilming, mass de-acidification, and scanning as “preservation methods”;
  • Examination of OAIS, PREMIS, TRAC, and other preservation tools and models;
  • Comparison of digital preservation activities in public, academic, and corporate library and archives settings, as well as how these differ to traditional preservation activities;
  • Understanding of the practice of digital curation;
  • Introduction to preservation management topics, including economic issues, planning, staffing, and policy development;
  • Fundamentals of disaster preparedness and response; and
  • Awareness of current digital repositories and systems.

Students learn best through active engagement with the course materials. In addition to weekly readings from professional literature, this course will feature weekly "lectures" ‐ a combination of text, multimedia and activities ‐ that will provide further information on the week's topic and engage you in thinking about and working with the course materials.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 202, 204 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Through lectures, readings, and discussions students will learn to:

  • Summarize why analog and digital library and archival materials deteriorate;
  • Locate information about and employ treatment and reformatting options for library and archival materials;
  • Identify key concepts in digital preservation, including the OAIS model and “digital curation” and emerging digital preservation standards such as PREMIS and TRAC;
  • Evaluate current digital preservation repositories and networks;
  • Describe the technical challenges to sustainability and long-term access;
  • Identify and implement elements of comprehensive preservation plans and workable preservation policies for libraries and archives for analog and digital collections;
  • Locate information about and employ disaster prevention and response strategies for analog and digital collections;
  • Recognize and appreciate preservation as one of the central management functions in libraries and archives, and explore the interdependencies between library departments;
  • Identify, interpret, and evaluate information sources on preservation available through publications and organizations, including technical standards, development tools, scientific and administrative research reports, and advocacy literature.

The assignments of this course explicitly support the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • Book Soaking: Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  • Wik-tionary: Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations.
  • Personal Digital Curation: Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  • Final Paper: Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities and Understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups.

LIBR 259 further supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy;
  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria.

Course Requirements

Mode of Instruction
This course is asynchronous, meaning that students will be able to complete readings, “attend” lectures (provided via recording), and participate in class discussions at their own pace during each week of the course.

Our course does contain an optional “Live Chat” every Friday from 2-4 ET, and students are encouraged to join these sessions to share questions and insights with each other and your professor. The discussions that occur in this environment are often substantive, and as such, are recorded and made available to students who are not able to attend.

Course Organization
The Angel course site is divided into two main sections: Course Information and Weekly Units.

  • Course Information contains info essential to your success in the course, such as our syllabus, details on assignments and exams, assignment submission deadlines, discussion/participation requirements, point distribution and grade scale, as well as policies and expectations. Be sure to read this section carefully as you are expected to know all of the course requirements and policies and will be held accountable for the information. Failing to familiarize yourself with these details can negatively impact your ability to excel in the course.
  • Weekly Units include details about the work you are expected to complete each week, including: reading assignments, questions to keep in mind while you are reading, learning objectives, audio/video lectures, lecture notes, and assignments (including discussion participation).


All due dates, detailed requirements, and grading information for assignments are available on our Angel course site. Assignments will total 600 points

Book Soaking Exercise (100 points)
This activity requires you to soak any book of your choosing and then attempt to save it through a drying method of your choice. You will write a four‐page description of the exercise, including your drying method and the results.

Creating a “Wiktionary” of Digital Preservation Terms (100 points)
This assignment will require each group member to individually define a list of important terms related to digital preservation. The group will then decide together which of their individual definitions best describes the terms. The group will post their final set of terms on the course wiki. Terms will be provided by the instructor.

Personal Digital Curation Activity (100 points)
This assignment involves selecting, managing, and ensuring the sustainability of and access to a digital collection for the duration of the semester.
Discussion Forums Participation (100 pts: 10 points per weekly discussion [10 weeks])
Everyone is expected to participate vigorously in course discussions. Participating in the class is part of the learning experience, as the discussions and activities are designed to help you understand and master course content. The diversity of experiences you bring to the course is what makes our discussions interesting – so we need to hear from everyone, please. There is no graded discussion during the first week of the course, weeks when assignments are due, and the final week of the course.

Final Research Paper (200 points; group work 100 points, individual work 100 points)
Information on this assignment will be posted in Angel within the first few weeks of the course.

Assignment Submission
Assignments must be double‐spaced using a 12‐point font, and use a one‐inch margin on all sides. They must be submitted by 11:59 pm ET on the day that they are due using the Angel drop box provided in the relevant weekly module. Ten points per day will be deducted for assignments that are turned in after the due date without prior approval.

If your life circumstances require that you request an extension, please do so at least a week before the assignment due date. No extensions will be granted for discussion posts or for the “Wiktionary” definitions assignment because students are dependent on each others’ work in these cases.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Readings
There is no required textbook for this course, and all of your readings will be available via the Web, either through citation (for articles available through SJSU’s databases), reserved readings (available to you using your King Library account) or through openly available websites. Readings will be posted on the Angel course site and are listed in the syllabus. In addition to completing your readings, you will often need to also “analyze” websites, “do” an online activity, or “watch” audio/video lectures.

Students should complete all weekly readings, website analysis, online activities, and videos in advance of their “Live Chat” session participation on Fridays at 3-5 ET.

Recommended Reading
No academic librarian or person interested in preservation issues should miss the popular, controversial book about preservation, and especially preservation microfilming, seen from the point of view of a dedicated library user and novelist: Baker, Nicholson. (2001) Double Fold: The Assault on Paper by Libraries. New York: Doubleday.

Comments and issues arising from Double Fold will be addressed in class discussions.

No Textbooks For This Course

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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