SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources  · 15
Preservation Strategies
Protective storage, relying on cooperative initiatives
such as HathiTrust6, and reformatting are the most
frequently used preservation strategies. Comments on
the challenges of preserving global resources ranged
from noting that global materials are treated the same
as other materials to an acute awareness of the special
needs of these resources because of poor bindings,
acidic paper, etc. This awareness goes hand-in-hand
with an acknowledgment that budgetary constraints
make it impossible to provide thorough preservation
treatment for these resources. In general, many librar-
ies are facing similar problems, such as high acidic pa-
per of materials published in other world areas, lack of
sufficient funding for staff training and preservation,
and lack of sufficient space for proper storage. Many
institutions have begun to rely on the HathiTrust as a
source of replacement, thereby extending their means
of preservation. Respondents also noted individual
treatments—such as boxing on an item-by-item basis
and re-binding—as major preservation strategies.
Techniques not used as frequently include de-
acidification, digitization, and the construction of
off-site storage spaces. Budgetary constraints in many
cases make the construction of new buildings or the
investment in de-acidification projects less of a prior-
ity, and digitization tends to be problematic in light of
copyright issues in the countries of origin. Moreover,
the lines between preservation and facilitating access
often blur and result in digitization efforts designed
to improve access rather than to preserve materi-
als. As one respondent noted, “We had a very active
preservation program…until recently. We worked
cooperatively to de-acidify materials, to find grants
to microfilm and to digitize. Areas of concentration
are now digitization, but these are spun not so much
to preserve as to facilitate access.” Only one library
mentioned disaster planning as part of their preser-
vation strategy.
Only 39 institutions replied to a question about
their preservation strategy for electronic global re-
sources. The majority of those said they are adding
content to institutional repositories. Some are ar-
chiving websites. Others rely on vendors or third-
party archiving agencies such as Portico, LOCKSS,
and CRL. A few are in the planning stage.
Preservation training did not emerge as a com-
monly pursued option, mainly for budgetary reasons;
instead, many libraries rely on existing staff, although
two libraries mentioned new hires specifically for
preservation with one focusing on the preservation
of e-resources.
Discovery, Public Service, and Outreach
Collection development is closely connected to public
service activities that are designed to assist library us-
ers in the discovery of global resources. Four survey
questions addressed this area.
Libraries use a range of channels to make global
resources discoverable. All but a few of the 67 respon-
dents identified the local library catalog and WorldCat
as the most frequently used discovery tools. These
channels are followed by mobile access to the catalog,
global collection websites, international library cata-
logs, and WorldCat Local. Respondents also identified
the local library catalog (88%) and WorldCat (75%)
as the most effective tools. While mobile access is
widely used (63%), only a few libraries (11%) identify
it as the most effective tool. Usability testing might be
able to gauge how users engage with library mobile
services, which might lead to a more efficient use of
such technologies. Twenty libraries reported using
other tools, including Google Scholar, Google Books,
subject pages, new acquisitions lists, Primo (a com-
mercial discovery tool), and RSS feeds.
Responses to a question about different kinds of
reference services and their effectiveness reveal that
global resources librarians rely most heavily on spe-
cialized reference services (not at a reference desk)
(59 responses or 88%). This kind of service was also
identified as most effective by almost all of the re-
spondents (56 or 95%). Other frequently used services
include stand-alone presentations, library workshops,
guest lectures in classes, participation in general ref-
erence service, and mobile reference services such as
IM and texting. Slightly more than a quarter of the re-
spondents teach credit-bearing courses. Interestingly,
while 53 respondents (79%) reported that global
resources librarians serve at the general reference
desk, only seven (12%) considered it most effective.
Similarly, mobile reference services, which are used
by 40 respondents (60%), were identified as the most
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