Are you interested in the local history of your town? Do you like taking good care of your books and possessions? If so, National Preservation Week may be something you want to celebrate!
National Preservation Week is observed annually, thanks to the American Library Association, during the last week of April. The purpose? To boost awareness for the importance of storing and rehabilitating items correctly! The greatest emphasis is placed on preserving books and other paper materials, although this week also focuses on artifacts, paintings, and digital resources.
Preservation is especially important in smaller communities, with the biggest reason being that it gives us clues to how our society has formed and progressed. Without local history, we can’t learn from our past and compare it to where we are today. Preservation also gives insight into different family lineages. Here at CGPL, we have a genealogy room full of preserved books to help people discover different things about their families and community! Preservation is also important because looking back on history gives us a sense of nostalgia. CGPL also has a special collections section that includes yearbooks, town directories, scrapbooks, and community notebooks. By keeping these items (and keeping them in good condition!), we hope to contribute to a more complete sense of community with memories of our past!
Although prioritizing preservation can apply to nearly anything, books and other paper materials give us the most insight into what the past was like. Here are a few things you can do at home to preserve your own book collection:
- Store them away from heat and moisture
- Store them away from bright light sources to avoid fading
- Store small and medium books upright and larger books horizontally
- Avoid using tape when mending books. Although it is a quick fix, it will actually damage it further in the long run. If it is important to you, take it to a professional!
Even though we can’t keep every artifact and book that comes into our lives, it is important to take good care of the ones that mean something to us. Who knows, the next book you buy might be significant to your future self...or even the future of the community!