School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 542 Outline

Administering Library Preservation, Security & Risk Management

 Course Outline

Summer Session, 6 July – 12 August 2015 


Instructors:    Merrill Distad &         Alison Freake


Phone:            780-221-0101              780-893-6976

Office:            off campus                  off campus

Office hours: by appointment           by appointment


Calendar Description:

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

Course Objectives:

  • Students who complete the course should understand the challenges, responsibilities, and basic techniques of preservation, security, risk management, and disaster contingency planning in libraries, archives, and kindred institutions.
  • Assessment through class discussion, written assignment, and a final, written examination ensures that they are prepared to manage, plan, staff, train, and supervise these activities in their future careers.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

After reviewing the diverse literature and other resources in the fields of preservation, security, and risk management, and pursuing a specific topic for further reading and research, students should have a firm grasp of alternative strategies and solutions, both preventive and remedial.

They should also be able to undertake institutional environmental needs-assessment surveys, plan and document programs of prevention and remediation, and establish priorities and contacts for the acquisition of emergency assistance and supplies.


  • the history and background of library preservation
  • the challenge of digitization and electronic formats
  • preservation program planning
  • staffing and training
  • preservation public relations
  • public and staff awareness training
  • preventive vs. restorative preservation
  • active vs. passive preservation
  • risk management and insurance
  • security, theft, and vandalism
  • disaster contingency planning
  • post-disaster salvage and recovery


Lectures slides, videos, selected readings, class discussion, site visit, and written assignment.

Course Relationships:

Pre-requisites: LIS 501 or the permission of the instructors

Required Texts:

None to purchase

Assignments and Weighting:

[relative weights including whether marks are given for class participation and other in-class activities; dates of examinations and assignments of 10% or more]

  • 10% based on participation in classroom discussions
  • 20% based on in-class presentation of term research project
  • 35% based on term research paper, due on Friday following last day of class
  • 35% based on written final exam, administered on last day of class

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

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.

Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure.

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.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of 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 background. 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.

Recording of Lectures:

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

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.