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President’s Message: Staying in Print

Bernard F. Reilly, Jr.
President, The Center for Research Libraries


It is now a year since the Preserving America’s Print Resources (PAPR) conference and planning meeting was held by the Center for Research Libraries with the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. From PAPR emerged an action agenda that prescribed two important measures the research library community can take to ensure the survival of critical heritage materials in print form:

  1. Strengthen the network of print archives, depositories, and “libraries of last resort,” clarifying and formalizing the roles of those institutions, to provide a reliable “safety net” for other American research libraries.
  2. Support informed local preservation decision-making by promoting the exchange of information on print archiving and collections of last resort.

During the past year the report and agenda were reviewed and vetted by stakeholders. These included PAPR attendees, members of the Center for Research Libraries Council, members of the Association of Research Libraries Preservation Committee, and attendees at the 2003 IFLA Meeting and the 2004 International Conference on Repositories held in Kuopio, Finland. Now finalized, the documents are posted to the Center’s Web site.

The Center and partner institutions are now working to accomplish the PAPR agenda. The goals are ambitious, so success will take time. We can now report modest progress on several fronts: in news archiving, preserving access to U.S. government documents, and shared collecting of journals. This issue of Focus reports on this progress, and the Center’s Web site will keep you updated in the months ahead.

Please be assured that we are keeping our shoulder to the wheel in carrying out the work that we began at the PAPR meetings in July 2003. We are indebted to the members of the Center for Research Libraries, whose support underwrites the Center and its preservation activities. In September and October we welcomed eight new members to the Center partnership: the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and seven new members of the MINITEX consortium—College of St. Catherine, Minnesota State University-Mankato, St. Cloud State University, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of South Dakota, and Winona State University.

We are also grateful to the funders—the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the GPO—whose investment and leadership are making this progress possible.