LIBR 259-11
Preservation Management
Fall 2009 Greensheet

Tyler Walters
E-mail (Please put "LIBR 259" in subject field)
Phone (Cell): 678-793-0654
Phone (Office): 404-385-4489
(I live in Atlanta, Georgia and am on Eastern Time. Please no calls after 7pm PST / 10pm EST)
Other contact points: Google IM / GTalk / ooVoo / AIM / Skype: tywalters1
(If you see me online, you are welcome to contact me)

Course Links
Course Wiki

The URL may change. If so, the updated URL will be e-mailed to students via ANGEL
Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

I will send the access code for the Angel site via the MySJSU messaging system to those enrolled in the course on Friday, 21 August. Please enroll in the course no later than Monday, 24 August.

Course Description

The class will introduce students to both technical and conceptual issues in the preservation of library and archival materials in analog and digital formats. About a quarter of the class will be dedicated to traditional 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;
  • an 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;
  • an overview of the origination and implications of microfilming, mass deacidification, and scanning as “preservation methods”;
  • an examination of OAIS, PREMIS, TRAC, and other preservation tools and models;
  • a comparison of digital preservation activities in public, academic, and corporate library and archives settings, as well as how these differ to traditional preservation activities;
  • an understanding of the practice of digital curation;
  • an introduction to preservation management topics, including economic issues, planning, staffing, and policy development;
  • the fundamentals of disaster preparedness and response; and
  • an awareness of current digital repositories and systems. 

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.
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.

Catalog Description
An introduction to the philosophies and techniques used to preserve manuscript, printed, and electronic materials. Examination of different preservation techniques, and their attendant philosophies, used over the ages, from chaining materials to desks to the current practice of digital imaging.

Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 202, 204

Course Objectives

Student Learning Objectives
Through lectures, online and in‐class discussion, assignments and readings, students will be able to:

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

LIBR 259 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation an organization of specific items or collections of information
  • Evaluate programs and services on specified criteria
  • 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

Course Requirements

Mode of instruction
This course will be entirely asynchronous. We will use Angel for online discussions, for the submission of assignments, and for accessing readings and course materials. Attendance at the synchronous hour in Elluminate at the beginning of the semester is optional; it is intended as a session to answer student questions, for the students and myself to get to know each other, and for students who prefer to interact in a synchronous environment.

Please e-mail me with questions or personal matters related to the course. If your question is of a general or technical matter, please post it to the course discussion in Angel (called “General Q&A”) so that others in the class may benefit from the answer.

For due dates, detailed requirements, and grading information for each of the assignments, please see the course site in Angel.

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 4‐page description of the exercise, including your drying method and the results.
  • Individual and Group Terms Definition Exercise (100 points)
    This assignment will require each group member individually to 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])
    No graded discussion 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.

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.

Assignment Submission
Assignments must be double‐spaced using a 12‐point font, and utilize a one‐inch margin on all sides.

Late Work
Assignments are due by 11:59 pm on the day that they are due. 10 points per day will be deducted for assignments turned in after the due date without prior approval. If your life circumstances require you to seek an extension, please do so at least a week before the assignment is due. No extensions will be granted for discussion posts, definitions assignments, and the abstracting assignment, because other students will be dependent on your work to complete their work. I also reserve the right to give individuals firm deadlines by which any late work must be turned in.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Texts & Readings
There is no required textbook for this course. Instead, a majority of the readings are available for free on the web and URLs will be provided on the Angel course and in the syllabus. Occasionally, you will need to obtain readings from King Library or from other sources ‐‐ this will be made clear on Angel and in the syllabus. In some cases, you will need to “view” websites, “do” an online activity, or “watch” videos in addition to completing readings.

In all cases, readings, website viewings, online activities, and videos should be completed in advance of the class sessions.

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.
In addition, readings that are not required, but are recommended are listed as “More on this Topic” in the Syllabus and in Angel.

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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