LIBR 259-10
Preservation Management
Spring 2011 Greensheet

Victoria McCargar, M.A., MLIS
E-mail   Via ANGEL email interface. Personal email outside of ANGEL will be ignored.
Faculty website:
Phone: (310) 954-4377 (emergencies only)
Office Hours: In Elluminate on Tuesday evenings 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 by noon of the Sunday of each week. The site will be available on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 8 a.m. PST, and you may enroll starting that day. An enrollment code will be sent to you via MySJSU. Please enroll by Monday, January 31, 2011.

Course Description

The class introduces students to both technical and conceptual issues in the preservation of library and archival materials in non-digital (analog) and digital formats. Readings and course materials address the history, development and philosophy of preservation as a discipline, the causes of deterioration, evolving best practice, controversies, and the critical interplay between preservation and access. Building on a foundation of traditional library and archives preservation, the course emphasizes the urgent issues and emerging solutions for dealing with our already massive born-digital legacy. 

â–º While an online class doesn't allow for what is sometimes called "benchwork" in the preservation field, there are two hands-on assignments that allow students to gain some experience in preserving personal materials at home.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 202, 204 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Through readings, online exercises, discussions, assignments and hands-on techniques, the motivated student will gain a solid grounding in

  • Evolution of preservation theory and practice
  • Decision-making processes behind selection for preservation
  • Causes of physical deterioration of various types of information objects, from paper to DVDs, and approaches for dealing with each
  • Concepts and standards central to digital preservation efforts, such as the OAIS framework and auditable trustworthy repositories
  • Principles of a workable preservation policy in library, archives and corporate DAM settings
  • Disasters: planning for, prevention of, response to and recovery from
  • Go-to professional preservation resources online and in print

LIBR 259 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • F. Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information.
  • L. 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;
  • B. (If you opt to do a preservation plan for a library) Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice.

Course Requirements

The course is conducted entirely in ANGEL and Elluminate.  The course is organized by weekly learning unit -- the entry to lectures, readings, discussion forums, exams and assignments. Each unit comprises:

  • An introductory video of one to two minutes (.mov)
  • A written rundown of the week's materials and important information about pending deadlines, updates, etc.
  • One or more audio lectures (.mp3) lasting about an hour with accompanying slides (PDF)
  • An annotated list of readings and links to related multimedia material
  • Discussion forum
  • Sidebar material, if any
  • Assignment or exam Dropbox if a due date is scheduled
  • Occasional preservation "salons" featuring a guest speaker in a prerecorded, NPR-like format.

In addition, semester-long resources and assignment information are posted in a folder under Learning Units. A PDF of the schedule and readings will be available in ANGEL (see Resources tab) for downloading. Readings may be added or subtracted during the semester, so the most up-to-date list will appear in the weekly learning unit. Use the PDF schedule if you wish to read ahead.

Notes about Angel and Elluminate

â–º The course is asynchronous; for direct communication purposes, note that the instructor is based on the West Coast of the U.S. (GMT -8/PST or GMT -7/PDT). 

â–º Live Chat on Tuesday evenings is not mandatory. However, it is a great venue for getting questions answers, sharing insights and engaging in human contact. Spontaneous discussions are typically interesting and lively, and all students are warmly encouraged to drop in.  In the event that substantive discussions develop, the session is recorded and made available to the class the next day.

Assignments and exams
Student work will be assessed based on three assignments and two short exams.

The first two assignments engage the student in preservation practice. The third  is a graduate-level research paper or professional-level disaster preparation plan. The exams will test the student's familiarity with the lectures and readings.

Details of each are provided in ANGEL.

Many of the weekly learning units will include a discussion forum that asks students to do some thinking about the material presented and probe more deeply into the concepts and controversies in the field.

  • Questions are posted on Sundays and should be answered no later than the following Thursday evening to allow for responses. Postings after the Saturday of each week won't garner a response.
  • You are encouraged to drop by the Tuesday evening (PST/PDT) Elluminate session with questions or comments.

A semester-long discussion forum called Preservation Commons is very popular and an excellent way to participate. Here students and teacher can post news items of interest that demonstrate how interesting and dynamic the topic of preservation can be every day. Comments are welcomed.

Course Calendar

Weekly learning units are as follows:

  • Week 1:  History and the problem of preservation
  • Week 2:  Paper and books
  • Week 3:  Library building design and assessment, common threats
  • Week 4:  Reformatting: microfilm, scanning and digitization
  • Week 5:  Introduction to digital preservation
  • Week 6:  Goals of a digital preservation strategy
  • Week 7:  The Open Archive Information System framework (OAIS)
  • Week 8:  PREMIS and preservation metadata
  • Week 9:  Global responses and the digital research space
  • Week 10: The repository movement and preservation
  • Week 11: Trustworthy Digital Repositories
  • Week 12: Copyright and digital asset management (DAM)
  • Week 13: Personal digital assets
  • Week 14: The economics of preservation; risk management
  • Week 15: Preservation policy

Due dates
Important assignment dates will be posted in ANGEL's Course Calendar. The following are the due dates of the exams and assignments listed in ANGEL. Dates are subject to change with proper and adequate notice.


  • Assignment 1: Soak-A-Book. Due Week 3, Friday, February 18, 2011
  • Exam 1 (analog preservation): Week 4, due Friday, February 25, 2011
  • Midpoint spreadsheet review in Personal Digital Curation Week 9, due Friday, March 25, 2011
  • Exam 2 (digital preservation): Week 12, due Friday, April 29, 2011
  • Assignment 2: Personal Digital Curation. Due Week 13, Friday, May 6, 2011
  • Assignment 3: Final Term Project. Due Saturday, May 21, 2011

Course Grading

Grades are based on an overall total of 100 points, broken down as follows. The SJSU grade distribution appears below.

Grading Component Points
Soak-a-Book assignment 10
Personal Digital Curation assignment 25
Final Paper 35
Discussion and participation 10
Analog preservation exam 10
Digital preservation exam 10




Submitting Assignments 
Please turn in all assignments and exams via ANGEL. Exams are offered through ANGEL. Please make sure always to include your last name in the character string.

Assignments must be formatted in 12 pt. Times Roman and double-spaced. Papers may be submitted in MS Word (.doc or .docx) or Apple Pages. "Track changes" will be used for editing and commenting. A commented PDF will be returned to the student upon grading.

â–º Late assignments will not be accepted unless by prior consent of the instructor. Consult the instructor about any situation that arises.

Medical conditions that inhibit you from completing assignments or exams must be registered with the university's Disability Resource Center, and proof of medical emergencies must be provided. Please consult SJSU SLIS policy. If you require written transcripts of the lectures because of a disability, please provide the appropriate documentation from the DRC.

If personal or family situations arise that may lead to an Incomplete, please coordinate in a timely manner with SLIS and student services and present proper proof when requesting an "I" grade.

â–º Plagiarism of any kind will be vigorously prosecuted. More than one student has abruptly exited library school after being caught by me. Please see SJSU SLIS policy. 

â–º Writing is expected to be at the graduate level and will be rewarded or penalized accordingly in overall points. Please note the rubrics that accompany descriptions of the exams and assignments.

Textbooks and Readings

No textbook purchase is required.

All readings are available online. Readings will be posted in ANGEL under the week's lessons. Readings will be available through any of three channels:

  • URLs for the public web
  • Reserved Readings at the King Library
  • Citations for articles available in one or more of the SJSU databases

Please consult the weekly Learning Unit in ANGEL for the most up-to-date readings

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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