The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program has awarded a grant to The New York Public Library (NYPL) and its partner Yale University Library for a series of eight (8) nine-month preservation administration fellowships from 2010-2012. The purpose of the IMLS Preservation Administration Fellowship is to develop 21st century preservation administrators by giving qualified candidates the opportunity to apply administrative skills in preservation in the setting of a large research library with a comprehensive preservation program. These skills will be directed toward specific preservation administration projects, preventive/ treatment/ reformatting/ outreach projects and broader administrative activities.
NYPL will host five of these fellows, one in the first year and two in each of the subsequent years. Yale will host three fellows, one for each year of the grant. Each fellowship will feature a two-week field experience to give fellows a breadth of experience with preservation facilities, and in particular, smaller programs. The University of Connecticut at Storrs will be the field site for the Yale Fellows; Rutgers University Library Special Collections and Archives will be the host site for the NYPL Fellows’ field experience.
Planned for recent library school graduates with a preservation concentration, the program curriculum is designed to translate fellows’ theoretical knowledge into practice. Through hands-on practice, fellows will develop judgment, decision-making skills and perspective in all facets of library and archival preservation; learn how to promote a preservation agenda at a large multi-faceted institution with a mature and stable preservation program; and learn how preservation should support overall library program development.
Fellows will engage directly in every host institution preservation program area in order to learn unit routines and how theoretical knowledge is translated into practice. Preservation units include: Collections Care, Conservation Treatment, Field Services, Registrar’s Office, Audio and Moving Image Preservation, Digital Conversion and Photographic Services, and Preservation Microfilming. Fellows will identify, plan, and complete a major project that combines research and its practical application at his/her host institution. At the mid-point of each fellowship, each fellow will host the other institution’s fellow for two days at their host institution.
The fellowships will be concurrent among NYPL and Yale. Fellows will participate in broader institutional and preservation meetings and committees, attend workshops, conferences/ lectures/ continuing education, network with colleagues. They will shadow the chief of preservation at their host institutions, observe library-wide committee meetings, participate in meetings involving collection strategy and in organizational activities as they relate to preservation, and immerse themselves in focused, goal-oriented preservation activities.
The fellowship program will convey a sophisticated understanding of key library issues confronting collections-holding institutions in America, and will seek to: increase the number of qualified preservation administrators who can lead the nation’s preservation programs in libraries; train future preservation administrators to be able to address preservation issues facing academic, public and other research libraries of various size and type; instill a modern understanding of the needs of preservation programs and their impact in supporting library service; and address collaborative preservation strategies necessary to 21st century preservation programs.
The results of the project will be presented to the library community through informal discussions with potential hiring organizations, with graduate library information science programs, and with peer library institutions with active preservation programs, as well as proposed sessions to American Library Association (ALA) and related professional organizations. Fellows will be required to present their research projects and fellowship experiences at selected conferences such as ALA and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE).
FOR INQUIRIES ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP, CONTACT:
Aaron and Clara Greenhut Rabinowitz Assistant Director for Preservation
Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division
The New York Public Library
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018