Professional Development

In the 'Preserving Forsyth LSTA Grant' Category...

Preserving Forsyth’s Past: the final frontier

Monday, June 21, 2010 9:51 am

Saturday, June 19 marked the final community workshop for the LSTA-funded “Preserving Forsyth’s Past” project. The workshop was held at Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center, the newest digitization center location. Perhaps most rewarding of all was the fact that the workshop was taught entirely by FCPL staff. Around 11 people were in attendance.

Librarian Melodie Farnham from the North Carolina Room at Central Library taught about organization and preservation of archival materials. She incorporated many of the ideas that Craig and I taught about in previous workshops, and also shared our handouts that included worksheets and supply resources and archival guidelines.

Fam Brownlee, local historian and staffer from the North Carolina Room, did an excellent job instructing the group about how to use the flatbed scanner. His trademark humor and knowledge of technology made him a crowd favorite.

Around noon, Merrikay Brown, head of the Lewisville Branch Library, took over to teach the group about the slide scanner, VHS to digital, and audio cassette to digital converters.

FCPL Assistant Director Elizabeth Skinner was pleased with the results from the workshop. FCPL is collaborating with the Forsyth County Computer Training Bridge to implement digitization center training courses for the public on a regular basis. It looks like the equipment and training via “Preserving Forsyth’s Past” has created a true community resource!

Preserving Forsyth-Walkertown Workshop

Sunday, April 18, 2010 11:57 am

Audra Films Barry

On Saturday, April 17th, we sang the third stanza of a four verse hymn at the Walkertown Public Library. The title of the hymn is “Preserving Forsyth.” It is funded by an LSTA grant in which a small cadre from ZSR and the Forsyth County Public Library teaches preservation and digitization principles and techniques.

The group of about 15 participants was welcomed by Library Director and Wake alum, William Durham. Audra Eagle next described the project and what the day would bring in instruction. Audra had the great idea to have the attendees fill out interest cards before we began. This helped us know what their expectations were. Audra next discussed organization of collections. She mentioned the concept that no one knows what you have in your collection except you for small personal collections, and talked about basic archival principles. Audra mentioned two primary concepts in archives: “Original Order” (respect for the originator’s order) and “Provenance” (honoring the creator of a collection by making it separate from others). She also had lots of practical advice like making an inventory and “get it off the floor and put it in a box.”

Craig Demonstrates Repair Techniques
In the next portion, Craig discussed preservation principles. The key ideas of controlling light, an even, non-fluctuating temperature and Relative Humidity, and good air quality was stressed. He also covered the 1967 flood of the Arno River in Florence, Italy and how the gathering of librarians, archivists and curators to recover the works of art in Florence was the genesis of today’s preservation principles and best practices.

After a hearty Mexican lunch and a spilled Diet Coke, the group reconvened. Craig demonstrated a variety of hands-on preservation techniques. These included repairing paper tears, tipping-in loose pages, text block consolidation and spine replacement. He also held a show and tell of various enclosure types. The group seemed very engaged. I should also mention that Barry has set up an ingenious system using video of the preservation repairs and projects, which he projects on a large screen. This makes the audience able to see clearly everything.

Barry Davis next discussed digitization and equipment use. Barry covered each piece of equipment: Epson flatbed scanner, Nikon slide Scanner, Ion Tape 2 PC and the Ion VCR 2 PC converters. He next went through the process of scanning and storing each digitized item: paper, slides, cassettes tapes and VHS tapes. I especially enjoyed the audio tape he converted as this was the Wake Forest Fight song…a few of us in the audience even clapped in time with the music!

We opened things up for questions at the end and each person informally talked with the attendees. In all, a great day. Thanks to Giz for the photos.

“Preserving Forsyth’s Past” at The Society of North Carolina Archivists Conference

Saturday, March 6, 2010 11:00 am

Audra, Rachel and Craig at SNCA

On Friday, March 5th, three of us, Audra Eagle, Rachel Hoff (UNC-CH Medical Sciences Library) and I gave presentations at the Society of North Carolina Archivists Conference in Pinehurst, NC. A good-sized group of SNCA attendees were very welcoming to us as we described the instruction we’ve been doing in Preserving Forsyth’s Past.

Audra began by asking each of the attendees to describe their job and what they hoped to get from our presentation. Many of the people were interested in outreach and ways to enhance outreach at their institutions. This gave us a good idea of how to direct our presentation. Audra described how the project got started as a follow on to the Digital Forsyth grant. She gave a great overview of the planning and intent of the follow on grant project in which we are trying to help local institutions preserve and digitize their collections.

I described planning the educational component of Preserving Forsyth’s Past (PFP) and the Pilot Training Session of the grant. I covered the concept behind the first two components of our training: Preservation Concepts and Theory and Hands-on Preservation. Rachel described teaching the public and how much more challenging that can be than teaching to a library crowd. Barry Davis, who teaches the third component of PFP was given a ‘shout out’ as we described the digitization component of the program. During the presentation, we showed the attendees a link to all the presentations we used for PFP and ran a short video clip of our teaching on the screen above us.

We are half-way through the grant for Preserving Forsyth’s Past. We’ve taught two sessions at the Central and Lewisville Branches of Forsyth Public Library. Presentations will be made at the branches in Walkertown in April and back at Central in June. This presentation gave the three of us an opportunity to discuss what we’ve been doing in this project with colleagues. In addition, we were able to think together about how we want to go forward, what things we want to improve and hopefully make this project more successful and meaningful for the attendees.

Preserving Forsyth’s Past

Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:37 pm

Lewisville -Preserving Forsyth's Past

On Saturday, February 20th, Audra, Barry, Craig and Rachel Hoff (UNC-CH Medical Sciences Library) led 3 sessions on preservation and digitization at the Lewisville Branch, Forsyth Public Library. Giz, Audra and Craig surveyed the space a few weeks back and it proved to be a new, tech friendly space. Giz and Barry came early to set up the video recording equipment, and Craig brought his traveling preservation book repair kit. Merrikay Everett Brown, the Lewisville Branch Director welcomed the 30 participants. Audra then introduced each presenter and described the three 2-hour sessions: Preservation theory and terminology, Hands-on Preservation, and Digitization. Audra also mentioned the small grants available for local history organizations, such as the grants offered by NCPC.

Rachel Hoff then began discussing the basic tenets of preservation theory: Do no harm and reversibility. She didn’t linger too long on terminology or lingo but talked to the audience as if they were peers. This made the early Saturday morning crowd soften up and pay attention. Rachel spent time discussing adhesives, care and handling of materials, the environment (light, temperature and relative humidity, and air quality), pests, disaster planning and cleaning.

After lunch, during session #2, Rachel and Craig demonstrated basic preservation repairs: tipping in a loose page, repairing paper tears, text block consolidation and paperback repairs (Danielle Steele!). We also covered basic repair tools, technique and suppliers.

Barry Davis led session #3, demonstrating how to scan paper materials as well as digitizing cassettes and video tapes. This was of particular interest to the crowd. ZSR should be proud to have a talent like Barry, whose skills were evident throughout the day.

There will be two more sessions like today’s for Preserving Forsyth’s Past: in April and in June at the Walkertown and Central Branches.


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