LIBR 259-10
Preservation Management
Fall 2013 Greensheet

Victoria McCargar, M.A., MLIS
E-mail  Via D2L's email interface. Personal email outside of D2L won't be read. I promise to answer email within 48 hours unless hospitalized. If it's urgent, put "259-URGENT" in the subject line.
Phone: (310) 954-4377 (emergencies only)
Office Hours: In Collaborate on most Tuesday evenings after Live Chat or by appointment.

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D2L information: All course material will be presented in D2L in weekly learning units from Wednesdays through Tuesdays. The units will be opened sequentially each Wednesday.

The site will be available on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. You're automatically enrolled. Please drop the class promptly if you're not planning to continue so that a student on the waiting list can have your spot.

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 proposed solutions for dealing with our already massive born-digital legacy. The particular focus this semester is preservation and curation for smaller institutions and personal digital archives.

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 experience in preserving personal analog and digital materials at home, skills that will be applicable in the workplace. The final project provides professional experience in developing a preservation policy and plan.

Course Requirements

The course is conducted entirely in D2L and Collaborate.  The course is organized by weekly learning unit -- the entry to lectures, readings, discussion forums, exams and assignments. Each comprises:

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

In addition, information about Collaborate sessions, assignments and other general matters are posted in a folder called "Semester Resources." Look there for a course schedule and list of readings. Readings will 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 D2L and Collaborate

â–º The course is asynchronous; for direct communication purposes, note that the instructor is based in Los Angeles. (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 occasionally lively, and all students are strongly encouraged to drop in or listen to the recorded sessions. Occasional guests will participate in live and prerecorded "Preservation Salon" sessions.

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

The assignments engage the student in hands-on preservation management and practice. 

  • Recovering from a typical book-centered disaster (SLO #6, #7);
  • Appraisal and management of a selection of digital records (SLO #2, #4);
  • Professional-level preservation plan (SLO #5)
â–º If you are considering the master's thesis option or contemplating eventual doctoral work, please discuss with the instructor the possibility of doing a comprehensive research paper instead of a preservation plan.

The exams will test the student's understanding of the lectures and readings.

Details of each will be provided in D2L as the semester develops.

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 Wednesday and should be answered no later than the following Sunday to allow time for responses.  
  • You are encouraged to drop by the Tuesday evening (PST/PDT) Collaborate session with questions or comments.

A semester-long discussion forum called Preservation Commons is fun and interesting and an excellent way to participate. Here students and teacher can post news items (from any source -- web, print, blogs, tweets) that demonstrate how fascinating and dynamic the topic of preservation can be every day.  

Course Calendar

Weekly learning units are as follows:

  • Week 01: History and the problem of preservation
  • Week 02: Foundations in paper and books
  • Week 03: Library building design and assessment, common threats
  • Week 04: Reformatting: microfilm, scanning and digitization
  • Week 05: Introduction to digital preservation
  • Week 06: Goals of a digital preservation strategy
  • Week 07: The Open Archive Information System framework (OAIS)
  • Week 08: PREMIS and preservation metadata
  • Week 09: Special situations
  • Week 10: The repository movement and digital asset management
  • Week 11: Trustworthy Digital Repositories
  • Week 12: Copyright and preservation
  • Week 13: The economics of preservation; risk management
  • Week 14: Preservation policy
  • Week 15: Personal digital assets (wrap-up)

Due dates
Important assignment dates will be posted in D2L's  Course Calendar. The following are the due dates of the exams and assignments listed in D2L. Dates are subject to change with appropriate notice.


  • Assignment 1: Soak-A-Book. Due end of Week 3 on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013
  • Exam 1 (analog preservation): Due end of Week 4 on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
  • Midpoint turn-in for Personal Digital Curation assignment, one spreadsheet: Oct. 22, 2013
  • Exam 2 (digital preservation): end of Week 12, due Tuesday, Nov.12, 2013
  • Assignment 2: Personal Digital Curation. Due end of Week 13, Nov. 19, 2013
  • Assignment 3: Preservation Plan or term paper. Due Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

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
Preservation Plan/term project 35
Discussion and participation 10
Analog preservation exam 10
Digital preservation exam 10

Submitting Assignments 
Please turn in all assignments and exams via D2L. Exams are offered through D2L. 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; do not submit a PDF, because the "track changes" function 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. 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 look at the rubrics that will accompany descriptions of the exams and assignments.

The textbook is new this semester:

  • Lee, Christopher A., ed. I, Digital: Personal Collections in the Digital Era. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2011.

or click on the "Textbooks" link at the top of this page

All weekly readings are listed online. Readings will be posted in D2L under the week's lessons. Besides the textbook, 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 D2L for the most up-to-date readings

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the evolution of preservation theory and practice.
  2. Identify the decision-making process behind selection for preservation.
  3. Summarize the causes of deterioration of various types of information objects.
  4. Identify key concepts and standards in digital preservation, including the OAIS model and repository development.
  5. Define the principles of a workable preservation policy in libraries, archives, and corporate DAM settings.
  6. Identify and apply disaster planning, prevention, response, and recovery strategies.
  7. Locate and evaluate tools, research, and other resources on preservation.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 259 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  2. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Lee, C. A. (Ed.). (2011). I, digital: Personal collections in the digital era. Society of American Archivists. Available through Amazon: 0838911552arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

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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