Step One Part Two: A Matter of Policy

Since the last time we met I have completed a rough draft of the policies for the Special Collections and Manuscript Archive at our library. By rough draft I mean something I have been composing for several months, reading and re-reading, editing over and again, and read over by other archivists for sensibility and tail covering to the best of my ability. Thank you again to those individuals who reviewed and commented on my work, you know who you are.

I was able to pass on the policies noting some ideas and things that I could live without to my director for his review and hopefully the Library Board’s ultimate approval. The policies are broad enough that changes would not really have to be made for quite awhile although I acknowledge a periodic review by the Board should be a matter of policy. A periodic review probably would not include any major changes so it should not hurt having the Board rubber stamp the program as The Lone Arranger book suggests.

While creating the policies I came up with some interesting ideas about our archival materials to help with security while increasing our overall library collection numbers. Because we are a very small library with little to no real security I have built in some measures to hopefully close a system (and monetary) gap.

The Special Collections and Manuscript Archive policy includes various forms one being a request of use that allows for a patron card number or other identification (e.g. driver’s license number) so as to be able to track down any purloined items. Also, thanks to the Lone Arranger Roundtable listserv, I decided to have archive patrons allowed to only use one bar coded folder or item at a time.

Each time they return one item or folder they then can have another to peruse. The bar coding allows us to track both the item and the usage within our library. My director thinks that this is a great idea we just need to work on the logistics. As we are also a junior member of a larger cooperative this will also increase our overall collection size which will aid our patrons in getting closer to not having to pay to use other member libraries.

Coming to a conclusion in the policy writing I have already started making a list or more succinctly an outline of what needs to be done for each collection. This includes being ready to request that at least two collections have a Deed of Gift form completed for our records.

I have also noted that in a collection of newspaper clippings about the city (many sans bibliographic information, e.g. title of periodical and/or date) that there are also city newsletters. These I have concluded can be removed from the clipping collection and placed into a separate collection concentrating on the history of the city. My next problem is tracking down exactly where they came from in the first place.

As part of my outline I have also included the acts of completing a survey of each collection and finding out what archival materials I will need to safely store the items in while also organizing and allowing better access to said materials in the future.

My goal is to create projects out of each collection, determine what needs to be purchased for the particular collection and creating a specific budget. I will then complete processing, create a finding aid, and create a MARC record for our library OPAC allowing the access to each collection before moving on to the next.

Priority will be given to a collection donated by the family of a local citizen, Yukus Inouye whose family requested in his obituary that, “donations can be made in memory of Mr. Inouye to the Highland City Library Foundation. They said Mr. Inouye hoped a library would be built in Highland one day” [(2007, August 24). Ex-Utah county commissioner Yukus Inouye, 91, dies. The Deseret News.]. This collection contains items my director (and I) are hoping to digitize next fall in a joint project with a local university. Hence this is why this particular collection has become my priority.

Step two is to open up some boxes and see what is inside . . .

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