School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 542 Outline

LIS 542 - Library Preservation, Security, and Risk Management

Course Outline

Summer 2018
Monday and Wednesday
6 pm – 8:50 pm


Instructor: Margaret Law
Phone: 780-720-3959 cell
Office Hours: By appointment

Calendar Description

An introduction to and overview of the role and activities of preservation administration in libraries of all kinds, from the physical preservation and conservation of book and multimedia collections, to risk management and insurance, prevention of theft and vandalism, disaster contingency planning and preparedness, through post-disaster salvage and recovery operations.


Upon completion of the course, students should:

  • Be familiar with the challenges, responsibilities, and basic techniques of, security, risk management and disaster contingency planning in libraries, archives, and similar environments.
  • Be prepared to take responsibility for the management, planning, staffing, training, and supervising of these activities in their future careers.
  • Understand the challenges, responsibilities, and basic techniques of preservation, security, risk management, and disaster contingency planning in libraries, archives, and kindred institutions.

Student learning objectives for this class are:

  • Demonstration of comprehension of risk assessment, risk management and risk mitigation in libraries and similar environments by connecting them to experiences through stories, discussion, and written work.
  • Demonstration of an understanding of roles and responsibilities through stories, discussion, and written work.
  • Demonstration of an understanding of the implications of different decisions concerning conservation and preservation of the collection and risk management in libraries and other similar spaces through discussion and written work.


Introduction to risk assessment, legal issues, environmental threats, threats from users, relationships with authorities such as the police, fire, threats to IT infrastructure, and digitization and other forms of collection conservation.


The course will be delivered via assigned readings, power point slides, lectures, handouts, in-class and online discussions and group work.

Course Relationships

Pre-requisites: LIS 501, LIS 502, LIS 503

Recommended Texts / Readings

There is no required text book for this class. Readings will be assigned as appropriate.

Students will contribute readings and other resources.  It is expected that all students will read these critically. In addition, if required, additional readings/resources or handouts will be given in the class or posted on the course website (e.g., guest speaker material). Students are requested to check course website including announcements on course webpage and email regularly for any update.

Inclusive Language & Equity

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of equality and respect for all people within the university community, and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.

Academic Integrity

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Grading Policy

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade. Also available on SLIS website:

Recording Lectures

Recording is permitted only with the prior written consent of the instructor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.