Under revision, updated policy will be complete by the end of Fall 2015

One of Randall Library's stated goals is:

To identify, select, acquire and preserve informational resources, including print, electronic, visual, and sound formats, relevant to current and anticipated curriculum, scholarly practice, research, and creative activities.

This policy explains how the library operates to meet its preservation goal.

The state of North Carolina has made a significant investment in information resources and it is the obligation of all library staff to steward the resources. Library resources are expensive to acquire. Additional labor and funds must be expended to process, house and preserve the materials for current and future generations. Randall Library takes this charge seriously, and fully endorses the American Library Association Preservation Policy.

Preserving informational resources is a multi-faceted endeavor, requiring both division of labor and collaboration among various library units and outside vendors.

General Preservation Objectives:
  • Training staff and users on proper handling of the materials
  • Maintaining proper storage and environmental controls
  • Providing security (theft prevention) for the resources
  • Repairing, reformatting, or replacing damaged materials
  • Responding to disasters that threaten the collection
Specific measures to accomplish these objectives are:
  • Training staff and users on proper handling of the materials
  • Cataloging processes materials to provide uniform labeling, while paying attention to minimize masking useful information on the covers.
  • Circulation Department trains student assistants in proper handling of materials.
  • Public Services staff include instruction on handling materials for users at appropriate times, e.g., loading microform. Exhibits are also used to educate the public on preservation issues.
  • The Circulation staff person responsible for repair is provided additional training. Ideally, this person should be sent to the Fundamentals of Book Repair Workshop, offered by Solinet.
Maintaining proper storage and environmental controls:

New materials are considered for special protection upon initial processing, and may receive one of the following treatments:

In-House Binding
Technical Services staff perform in-house binding for most pamphlets, music scores, and materials with accompanying items such as maps and charts. Acid-free pressboard binders are used for most in-house binding.

Professional Binding
Library materials that require professional binding are sent to one of the professional binderies included on the North Carolina Library Binding State Contract TC-130. The products of these binderies conform to binding industry standard ANSI/NISO/LBI/ Z39.78 -2000.

Technical Services staff make most binding decisions for books and periodicals, using the following criteria:


  • Paperback books are bound if original binding is poor quality or if high use is predicted
  • Rebind if cost of rebinding damaged materials is cheaper than purchasing a new copy
  • Custom boxes are made if paper is too brittle to bind and material cannot be replaced


  • 3 copies are bound, 1 for the University Archives, 1 for the General Collection, and 1 for the academic department
  • If electronic copies of theses are available, 1 copy will be bound for the University Archives


  • Most periodicals are routinely bound on a schedule based on the frequency of publication
  • Periodicals that are available via an electronic subscription may not be bound and are stored in periodical boxes in the Bound Journal Collection
  • Newsletters and newspapers that are valuable only for current information are discarded, newsletters after 1 year and newspapers after 1 month
  • Newspapers and other periodicals published in formats that aren't suitable for binding are purchased in microform. Print issues are discarded when microform is received
  • Newspapers that are not available in microform may be preserved by binding


  • CDs accompanying books will be shelved, if possible, in the book. When this is not feasible, these CDs will be given a separate item record and stored at the Reserve/Media Desk. Security targets will be applied to CDs.
  • Magnetic media accompanying books (e.g., diskettes) are stored at the Circulation Desk. These items may be checked out, but must not be desensitized.
  • As videocassettes and audiocassettes need to be replaced, DVD and CD formats will be the preferred format.
  • Splicing equipment and supplies are used to repair damaged microfilm.

The Stack Maintenance Supervisor and Circulation Department Supervisor have primary responsibility for ensuring there is sufficient stack space for collections and that items are properly shelved or filed. Librarians in charge of specific collections, e.g., Reference, Documents, CMC, Special Collections, manage this effort for their areas of responsibility. The Associate University Librarian for Public Services provides overall, long-range planning for most stack and cabinet acquisitions.

Exhibit cases are equipped with UV filters on lights to minimize damage to materials.

Special Collections takes extra care with rare and fragile materials. Items are housed in a specially climate-controlled environment. The climate control system is separate and distinct from the rest of the building. It has separate humidity and temperature controls that allow for distinct temperature variation from other areas of the library. Materials are kept in low or no light environments, in acid free folders and/or containers. Access is limited. Items are only handled by staff or professionals on an as-needed basis.

Photo copying is not encouraged, to prevent further deterioration of items.

Temperature and humidity is controlled through continuous monitoring by the Physical Plant. Problems detected by library staff are reported to the library administrative office, which forwards requests for service to the Physical Plant.

Providing security theft prevention) for the resources:

The Cataloging Department applies labels and security targets to new items added to all open-stack collections.

The Circulation Department monitors the security gate and complies with written procedures for responding to the alarm.

Special Collections allows for very limited access. Keys are held by department head and assistant only. The rarest and most valuable items are housed in a vault. Within the vault there is a safe for the most valuable smaller items. Access to vault is via a key that is held by the department head and by the library director.

Patrons coming into special collections are required to register and include their names, email address, regular address and purpose of visit. Patrons are given a secure locker to house their personal belongings while they conduct research. Only paper and pencil are allowed in the main reading room. All storage areas and stacks are behind locked doors. Student workers and staff are encouraged to lock and close doors to areas when not in use. Access to Special Collections when it is closed to the public is via a door with a doorbell, so there is ample notice when someone wishes to enter special collections.

Repairing, reformatting, or replacing damaged materials:

Items in need of repair are identified in a number of ways, including users bringing damaged items to the staff's attention, items identified upon checkout/checkin, and items identified during shelf-reading and inventory. The Circulation Department provides the initial review and if the repair is minor, it is performed in the department. Items damaged beyond the repair abilities of the Circulation Department are forwarded to Technical Services. Technical Services will decide whether to rebind, box, or replace the material.

The following criteria are used when making replacement decisions:

  • Availability of additional copies in the collection
  • Material is available for purchase (new or high-quality used copies)
  • Cost of rebinding versus replacement
  • Circulation statistics
  • Availability of newer editions
  • Coverage of the subject matter in the collection

During the time materials are unavailable for circulation, their status will be changed in the online system to indicate this, e.g., Damaged, To Bind, Lost, etc.

Items not in hand that have been determined to be lost, either by the user or in inventory will be reviewed by creating a list in the online system. Technical Services will review the list and decide upon replacement or withdrawal. When items are withdrawn, they will be deleted from the online system and from the OCLC database. Some materials are designated to be retained for a specific period, such as newsletters. Notations of the retention period are noted in the catalog record and discards are managed by Technical Services.

Replacements are purchased from a separate line in the budget. When library users lose materials, the replacement costs they pay are deposited in this account.

Responding to disasters that threaten the collection:

The library has a separate Disaster Policy, mainly designed to prepare for and respond to hurricanes, the greatest threat we face.

Site organization: