Report from the IFLA Library of Congress Regional PAC Center
The Library of Congress (LOC) has been an IFLA/Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Center for many years, and has changed its focus during that time. When the PAC produced the International Preservation News, (IPN) the LOC took responsibility for mailing the paper copies within North America. When the publication ceased the LOC provided digital files of all the issues for the IFLA website to assure the availability of the valuable information that had been produced. All issues are available for download from the IFLA website at http://www.ifla.org/publications/international-preservation-news?og=32
Today the LOC PAC Center focuses on providing resources through webpages and through broadcasting TOPS talks, http://www.loc.gov/preservation/ Topics in Preservation Series (TOPS) lectures cover a wide variety of topics from conservation treatments to guest lectures on conservation education to science to funding, all made available free via on-demand video stream http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/index.html Some of the PAC centers have also designated areas of expertise and LOC has selected two areas, digital preservation and disaster and emergency management. Through the website steps are provided for preparedness and response, http://www.loc.gov/preservation/emergprep/
In addition, there are Spanish language resources both for disaster recovery and for collections conservation. There is even a short video that is both in Spanish and in English that is available on recovery. One special project of the Library of Congress in the area of disaster recovery is the free distribution of Spanish language collections salvage information. http://www.loc.gov/preservation/espanol/rueda.html The link explains the information on this tool and how to request it or contact the director at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to acquire. The Library is pleased to work in partnership with the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation in providing this valuable resource for Spanish speaking cultural heritage communities.
In the area of digital preservation there are many resources available on the website from standards for capture to audio-visual preservation to consideration of metadata maintenance.
Another area of importance to LOC is to provide training for future conservators both pre and post training programs. These internships and volunteer opportunities allow the expertise of the LOC staff to contribute to the learning of our future colleagues. International applications for advanced conservation experience are welcome and past interns can be found at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/intern/residents.html See the wide variety of programs and interests of the interns working both in conservation and in the research and testing divisions.
The LOC PAC welcomes exchange of information with other PAC Centers and were pleased to be host for the IFLA’s P and C Section and PAC co-sponsored pre-conference — held in the James Madison Building prior to the 2016 IFLA World Congress in Columbus, OH — on the topic of high-density and environmentally secure storage for library materials.
The program offered 65 international delegates tours of the facilities at Ft. Meade and the Packard Campus to learn about the Library’s unique challenges for its large number and variety of materials, its storage space within its historic buildings, and a view of a state-of-the-art facility for audio-visual materials preservation. There were 14 countries in attendance, with the US having the largest contingent (38), followed by Egypt (3), Sri Lanka (2), Slovenia (2), Finland (2), Germany (2), and Canada (2). Other countries include Norway, Italy, Spain, Tanzania, China, Portugal, and Brazil. 10 States and the District were represented. Maryland has the largest delegation (11), followed by Virginia (10), DC (4), and Michigan (3).
Attendees heard invited papers from selected submissions (these will be published on the IFLA website http://2016.ifla.org/programme/satellite-meetings) and selected additional tours of various custodial divisions including a complete tour of the Preservation Directorate. See: http://iflapac.2016preconference.org/
–Jeanne Drewes, Director LOC PAC Regional Centre