Thursday, April 4, 2019

Preservation Week April 21-27

Preservation Week, April 21 – 27, is drawing near.  Law librarians play a key role in preserving legal information and scholarship for the benefit of future generations.  In a print environment, preservation may be as simple as protecting the binding of a book, repairing a ripped page, or ordering multiple copies of a well-used title.  With the birth and growth of digital documents, the task becomes more complex and difficult to achieve, especially for smaller institutions and establishments.  Without adequate resources to undertake the needed work, digital legal information becomes especially vulnerable to technological obsolescence and potential degradation over time. 
In 2003 attendees at a conference sponsored by the Georgetown University Law Library and the American Association of Law Libraries recognized the challenging landscape and the need to establish long-term archiving and preservation support to institutions charged with overseeing legal collections.  To address the concerns, conference participants established the Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA).
 In 2005, LIPA commissioned a white paper, Preserving Legal Materials in Digital Formats.  In 2006, members released the first Strategic Plan with an updated version following in 2009. These documents laid the foundation and created a structure for the consistent development of new projects and services for member libraries.
Today, LIPA is a non-profit consortium of over one-hundred academic federal, state and public law libraries dedicated to the preservation and accessibility of legal information through collaboration, education, and advocacy.  Ventures include LawArXiv, Law Review Preservation Program, Legal Information Archive, and PALMPrint.  Information professionals will find a list of digital preservation resources on the website, as well as a BLOG featuring preservation tips.

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