Easy, Low-Cost Ideas for Preservation Week Events

Memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. Preservation Week will inspire actions to preserve personal, family, and community collections, in addition to library, museum and archive collections. It will also raise awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions can play in providing ongoing preservation information. Local institutions are asked to do one thing in their communities to celebrate Preservation Week, even if the action or activity is small.

1.     Do just one thing—it doesn’t need to be big.

Put a Preservation Week banner on your home page celebrating collectors and collections. Individual, family, and community collections, and library, archive, and museum collections all contribute to our cultural heritage.

2.     Invite a speaker to talk about a preservation topic.

Select a topic that will interest one or more of your communities (preserving family documents and photos; preserving personal digital files; care and handling of costumes, textiles, and linens…). Contact your state library (or archive or historical society) or your regional conservation center for a preservation speaker or suggestion. Create a “save the date” to schedule.

3.     Show book repair or conservation treatment at a public table for a day.

An excellent idea if there is a suitable task, project, and person. If your institution has a repair technician, or if you are having an item treated by someone geographically close consider this possibility. A near-by university library or larger museum might also be willing to make a conservator available for this purpose.

4.    Invite a local collector’s or community organization in to exhibit.

Have them create a small temporary exhibit of collectibles they’d like to preserve, along with examples of good preservation storage ideas in a space or display cabinet you make available. Display preservation and conservation information resources, and provide a preservation information sheet as an exhibit handout.

5.     Provide handouts.

Place handouts with preservation tips and information at your reference, check-out, or visitor information area.

6.     Host a story hour or family workshop.

Highlight preservation, and include simple tips on caring for books (return them to the library on time, handle gently with clean hands, etc.).

7.     Create a small temporary exhibit.

Use items from your collection that have been conserved, with before and after photographs (if you have them), and damaged items that still need conservation.

8.     Invite users or visitors to share a personal story.

Request stories about a memento or collectible that has been significant to visitors. If a special Web page isn’t practical, print copies of these stories and share them in a prominently displayed notebook, or mount them on a wall for others to read.

9.     Host a film screening or a book group.

Discuss a title with preservation themes. Lists of these titles are available online.