Since we have recently welcomed new members to NEDCC’s Preservation Services department, we thought it a good idea for you to get to know each of them. Many of you will speak to one of the Preservation team as your first contact with the Center, and sometimes you will have an urgent question about a collection issue. You may also work with members of the team on a preservation needs assessment or other consultation about your collections.
The Preservation staff also present workshops and webinars on a wide range of preservation topics from caring for AV and paper collections to preservation planning to emergency management to digitization of your collections. The annual Digital Directions conference, presented in different locations around the country, is a joint effort of the team as well. This year the conference is in Seattle, Washington on August 21-23, and we all look forward to meeting digital collections stewards from across the country and Canada.
Ann Marie Willer has recently joined the staff as Director of Preservation Services. She manages the team and is responsible for planning new programs and initiatives, and staying in touch with the training and consultation needs of institutions nationwide. Ann Marie has worked as a professional in the field of library preservation since 2002. She has expertise in preservation program management, digitization workflows and best practices, the preservation of paper-based and audio-visual materials, and disaster preparedness and response. She previously served as Preservation Librarian for the MIT Libraries and the University of North Texas Libraries.
NEDCC’s Preservation Specialists consult with organizations large and small, conducting preservation needs assessments or advising about collections care during a move or renovation. If you use the “Ask NEDCC” service on the Center’s website, these are the folks who will get the answers back to you ASAP. They also present the workshops and webinars and help to design customized trainings for institutions or regions.
Danielle Spalenka joined the staff in 2017 and works from her home base of Louisville, Kentucky. Her previous experience includes serving as Project Director for the NEH-Funded program, Digital POWRR, which developed and presented free workshops on digital preservation across the country. She has also held the position of Curator of Manuscripts at Northern Illinois University and Archivist at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.
Sean Ferguson is a recent graduate of Simmons MLIS program. He has interned at the Mary Baker Eddy Library to help them preserve their collection of audiovisual materials; served as a Web, Archives, and Digital Asset Management Intern for the Boston Ballet; interned on archival projects for Historic New England; and volunteered at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, processing donated books and rehousing rare books. Sean represents NEDCC on the COSTEP MA (Coordinated Statewide Emergency Preparedness in Massachusetts) Executive Committee.
Along with providing training and consultations, Senior Preservation Specialist Frances Harrell serves as the co-chair of the Preservation Outreach Committee at ALA, and is the outgoing chair of the Preservation Section of SAA. She is the project manager for NEDCC’s “Digital Assessment Training: Building a Framework, Building a Community,” funded by a grant from NEH. The project will present a collaborative digital assessment training program, which will approach digital preservation and training through case-study assessments, shadowing opportunities, workshops, and a Digital Assessment Institute. Starting in September, Frances will work from her office in Savannah, Georgia.
Becky Geller joined the Preservation Services team in 2018. A certified archivist, she has nearly ten years of experience in public libraries, having recently held positions in Reference Services and the Western History & Genealogy departments at the Denver Public Library. In 2016, she traveled to Serbia with the “Exploring Libraries and Archives” program and presented a talk on her experience. Becky’s interests include informational literacy, intellectual freedom, and balancing preservation and access. She holds a BA in Art History from Colorado College and an MLS from Emporia State University.
Kim O’Leary is our Technology and Events Coordinator, and if you have a question while registering for one of our training programs, Kim will be on hand to answer. She also provides technology support for the webinars, and is responsible for scouting out the locations for the Digital Directions conference and other off-site programming, as well as a host of other support system help for the department and the Center.
In November, the Preservation Services Department held its 6th Annual Working Retreat at a farm in Maine. The 2-day retreat affords ample time for meetings to plan future initiatives. In the evening, the team helped out with decorations for a 1940s Dance at the local historical society. And there is also plenty of time for fun and food!
NEDCC is grateful for support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for our Preservation Services training and outreach activities.