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A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Patrick Brown's Story of His Year

Audiovisual Materials at Southern Illinois University Carbondale Case Study, Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown, Preservation Librarian at Southern Illinois University Carbondale


At the beginning of this case study, I was excited to learn about our AV Materials at SIU and to conduct a focused preservation project. My plan was to research past work with audiovisual materials and see what further needs we had going forward. I did not expect the extraordinary situation of not having a state budget for the year and the impact that would have on my small department. A series of transfers, promotions, and other staff changes throughout the year was coupled with the impossibility of bringing in more help, and eventually, I was alone in the department. I have had to focus on day-to-day preservation needs of the library and continue to provide as many of the services my library expected from Preservation. Unfortunately, this has meant I could not do much for the case study.

Fortunately, the department previously conducted an inventory using AvSAP and established protocols for AV materials. In response to questions raised through other parts of this project as well as reviewing existing policies and procedures, I have learned what SIU does for its AV materials. While we could do better, it is good to know that we have a framework for someone in the future to help our materials last. Until a new budget comes and department staffing increases, we will have to rely on the earlier efforts done for AV materials in the library and hope that benign neglect and our current policies keep the material intact for the future.

Continue to the next article: Anne Thomason's Story of Her Year

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