Preservation Management in Company Libraries

Preservation Management in Company Libraries

Akio Yasue
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6921-3.ch018
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From the library preservation point of view, it is important to distinguish two types of collections in special libraries. The first type is the general collection which serves for the daily library and information needs of clients. It is a time–limited collection and should be evaluated by its use. Good collection care is what is most necessary for the preservation of a general collection. The other type is the special collection which should be evaluated by its historical value. It is a permanent collection and should mostly be conserved in original format. In the preservation of this type of special collection, conservation treatment, reformatting, and other preservation measures would be necessary in addition to collection care. This chapter delves into the best practices in managing and preserving corporate and special libraries.
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Two Types Of Collections In Company Libraries

We see two types of collections in company libraries, namely, general collections and special collections. These are two different kinds of collections from the preservation point of view.

Books and documents of general collections in company libraries are collected to provide library and information services to its clients who are generally company employees. Because the general collection of company libraries is a service collection, the first principle of its preservation is to “keep books and documents as long as they are requested by the clients.” Some books are requested only for several years after acquisition while others for several decades. In either case, their fundamental characteristic is time-limited. At the same time, it is the content, or in other words, the information stored therein that are needed and not the physical books as artifacts. As long as there are service needs from the clients, a company library maintains books and documents as the important component of its collection. These should be cared for well and whenever necessary, are provided such treatments as repair, rebinding, boxing, photocopy, fumigation, etc.

Since a general collection is primarily a service collection, it is not necessary to maintain it eternally. When the collection is no longer requested or are requested only rarely by the library’s clientele, a logical preservation option to be taken would be to deselect and transfer items to other libraries or to discard these. A company library is not responsible in maintaining these books and documents over the decades. Selection of books for disposal is an equally important task as their selection for acquisition.

Storage is expensive and cost-effectiveness should always be kept in mind with regards to preservation. In principle, books and documents of general collections are viewed and evaluated by their use. The long time preservation of such books and documents would be the responsibility of national libraries, university libraries and big public libraries. The clients of company libraries may rely on these libraries whenever it becomes necessary to consult such books and documents. It is important for company librarians to consider which libraries may serve company clients once it becomes necessary to consult these books and documents.

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