Genealogists are among the greatest users of primary source collections in institutions across the United States. Yet some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Eighty percent of these institutions have no paid staff assigned responsibility for collections care; 22 percent have no collections care staff at all. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan. As natural disasters of recent years have taught us, these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike. Personal, family, and community collections are equally at risk.

This year Preservation Week is being celebrated April 24 through April 30. The American Library Association launched Preservation Week to encourage libraries and other institutions to host events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. Last year, over 65 events took place nationwide.

A free webinar, “Preserving Your Personal Digital Memories,” is being offered by ALCTS (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services) on Thursday, April 28, 2011. The webinar is one hour long and begins at 11 am Pacific, noon Mountain, 1 pm Central, and 2 pm Eastern Time.

Description of the webinar: Digital photos, electronic documents, and other new media are fragile and require special care to keep them useable. But preserving digital information is a new concept that most people have little experience with. As new technologies appear for creating and saving our personal digital information, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content. Learn about the nature of the problem and hear about some simple, practical tips and tools to help you keep your digital memories safe.

Presenter: Bill LeFurgy, Digital Initiatives Manager, has worked for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress since June 2002. He leads the NDIIPP Communications Team, which interacts with a broad range of people interested in preserving access to digital information.

To register, visit the GoToWebinar site: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/550844641

Interested in other ways to celebrate Preservation Week 2011? Here are some ways you can participate: