#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: History & Preservation

As libraries fight to keep ahead of the technology curve (with help from the Emerging Technologies Section!), we are also working to preserve important historical documents and artifacts essential to our communities. I think we can all admit it’s tough work when you’re burning the candle on both ends!

So I thought I would get us some help. I spoke with Tom Ankner of the Newark Public Library and NJLA’s History and Preservation Section about what they are offering at this year’s conference. Read on for some great advice on what to attend to help you save our precious past!

Q: How many programs will your the History and Preservation Section be sponsoring or cosponsoring this year?

Four programs: an authors' panel featuring three writers of recent books about New Jersey, a program on managing different types of archives, one on the care of historic maps and their use in reference work, and a program on preparing historical exhibits and doing historical programs in libraries.


Q: When the History & Preservation section starts submitting program proposals for conference, what sort of things come up in conversation and what topics do you feel are important for your section to represent?

I think it is important to include some information about preservation issues. I think this helps people who work in many different types of library settings, not just local history rooms or historical archives. Last year, we did a session on basic book repair which had wide application beyond history rooms.

Q: Is there a session you think would be valuable or interesting even to non-history buffs?

This year, the maps and programming sessions should be particularly helpful. Learning about the preservation and digitization of maps is something that many libraries can benefit from. No one seems to know what to do with maps. This program could provide some guidance.

And finding inventive ways to bring history to life for patrons can be useful. This year, one of my presenters does historical reenactments in costume; she is planning to appear at the conference in costume (she hasn't told me as who yet).

My other presenter is a college professor who has curated exhibits for both public and academic libraries. He will be talking about the difference in the two types of institutions.

Q: What session are you most excited about and why?

I am probably most looking forward to the session on exhibits and historical programming. I am moderating that session, for one. I also think it is the session that will have the most appeal to people at the conference.

So there you have it! You may not learn what you need to know in time to preserve your famous love letters for Valentine’s Day, but there’s always next year! Until then, soak up all that you can at #NJLA17

Emily Witkowski and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee