Libraries Urged to Apply for Free IMLS “Connecting to Collections Bookshelf”

Libraries can now, at no cost, take part in a recently developed program offered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides invaluable information on the conservation and “best practices” management of collections. Resources are limited and applying early is encouraged.

IMLS’s press release includes the following information:

To help raise the conservation IQ of museums, libraries, and archives, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in cooperation with the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH), is offering 2000 free copies of the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of books, DVDs, online resources, and an annotated bibliography that are essential for the care of collections. A simple electronic application for the IMLS Bookshelf is available at www.aaslh.org/Bookshelf.

“The IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf is a set of ‘power tools’ that will provide immediate answers to conservation issues faced by museums, libraries, and archives,” said IMLS Director Anne-Imelda Radice, Ph.D. “We also hope that the IMLS Bookshelf will spark interest among individuals who will study it and become their institutions’ go-to people for conservation matters.”

The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in art or history museums and in libraries’ special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquaria, public gardens, and nature centers. It will address such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues. Recipients of the Bookshelf will also receive a user’s guide, including an annotated bibliography. A guide to online resources on collections care is also being prepared by Heritage Preservation (HP), a national non-profit organization working to preserve America’s collective heritage. Both documents will be available online.

The IMLS Bookshelf will be awarded free in two application periods:

September 1 – November 15, 2007, with recipients announced in February 2008; and March 1 – April 15, 2008, with recipients announced in July 2008. Instructions, qualifications, and the content of the IMLS Bookshelf, along with the online application, can be found at www.aaslh.org/Bookshelf.

Priority will be given to smaller institutions, but large museums and libraries with special collections are also eligible to apply. Federally operated institutions, for-profit institutions, and libraries that do not hold special collections are not eligible to receive the Bookshelf.

For more information on the IMLS Bookshelf, email Terry Jackson at jackson@aaslh.org, or call 615-320-3203.

About Jacob Roberts

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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