South African Preservation and Conservation Group (SAPCON

By: Sapcon  11-11-2011


Preservation Training for Community Libraries in South African

The South African Government awarded a special community libraries grant for the development of public libraries in South Africa. The National Library of South Africa was invited to take part by way of providing training in specialist areas. Staff of community libraries lack specialist knowledge to care for their collections. Proper care of collections will enable them to expand the lifetime of books. Due to limited budgets school and other textbooks and reference works cannot be replaced easily. These books are often the most used items in collections. More damage is often caused during disasters due to improper planning and ignorance. It would be in the interest of community libraries in general if staff obtain a basic knowledge of preservation management principles. Training community libraries in all nine provinces were undertaken in the past two years. The provincial library services are encouraged to hold the workshops in rural parts of the provinces to enable smaller libraries to participate. Participation is based on one person per community library to maximise the number of libraries represented. A total of 350 library workers from different libraries and depots have participated. Certificates of attendance are issued. Services of a professional book and paper conservator were hired to compile a training manual, assist with drafting of the training plan and to do part of the training. Douwe Drijfhout
Preservation Services
National Library of South Africa
23 May 2011