Interview with Sherelyn Ogden on Long-Range Preservation Plans

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

June 11, 2024

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sherelyn Ogden about her forthcoming book Six Steps to a Long-Range Preservation Plan to be published by Rowman & Littlefield later this year. 

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Sherelyn Ogden. I am a practicing conservator with fifty years of experience in the field of cultural heritage preservation. I trained in library and archives conservation at the Newberry Library and received a Master of Arts degree from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago. I held the positions of Director of Book Conservation at the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Director of Field Services at the Midwest Art Conservation Center, and Head of Conservation at the Minnesota Historical Society. I produced sixty professional publications, the most recent of which is Six Steps to a Long-Range Preservation Plan: A Guide for Cultural Heritage Collections. I currently live in Saint Paul, MN where I treat paper-based materials, consult, and continue to write on various preservation topics.

2. Briefly summarize Six Steps to a Long-Range Preservation Plan.

The book provides a straightforward methodology for drafting a preservation plan in six easy-to-follow steps. It leads readers through the process of organizing and implementing recommendations made in their preservation assessments. It helps them determine their collections care needs, establish priorities, define a course of action, and specify necessary resources for implementation. It enables them to identify the actions their institution can take (and those it probably cannot take) so they are able to allocate resources appropriately. The result is a long-range preservation plan for their institution that includes an action plan and timetable—a list of prioritized actions to take over a specific period to meet collections care needs. This practical document guides preservation activities and will aid in fundraising for years to come.

3. Why did you decide to write this book?

The number of collections-holding cultural heritage institutions that have conducted preservation assessments has increased substantially over the years. Thousands of assessments have been funded through federal and state initiatives, while national, regional, and local organizations have subsidized countless more. Unfortunately, the staff of institutions often find themselves overwhelmed by the vast amount of information supplied in the assessment reports and are unable to process it effectively. They do not know where to begin or how to move forward. Six Steps to a Long-Range Preservation Plan is intended to assist with this.

4. What is changing in preservation planning that readers need to be aware of?

The cost of preserving collections is going up, and the funding available to pay for it is not. In addition, global warming and other environmental pressures are affecting the way we preserve collections and manage operations. To meet these challenges, careful planning is needed. Such planning incorporates strategies that make the wisest use of resources, such as prioritizing based on the criteria of impact, feasibility, and urgency.

5. What has stayed consistent in preservation planning?

Respect for our cultural heritage and a commitment to preserving it.

6. What are two things you hope all readers will take-away?

First, even though planning for preservation is work and takes time, it is worth it. It is a means to an end. It is the most efficient way to preserve the collections in your care, saving time and money in the end. Second, having a long-range plan brings a sense of accomplishment and pride. It shows you can put resources to good use and are a responsible steward of your collections.

7. Is there anything else you would like to share?

I hope this practical, worksheet-based, do-it-yourself approach has relevance in these times of increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence and will serve the intended purpose.

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

Dr. Lauren Hays is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Central Missouri, and a frequent presenter and interviewer on topics related to libraries and librarianship. Please read Lauren’s other posts relevant to special librarians. Take a look at Lucidea’s powerful integrated library systems, SydneyEnterprise, and GeniePlus, used daily by innovative special librarians in libraries of all types, sizes and budgets.

**Disclaimer: Any in-line promotional text does not imply Lucidea product endorsement by the author of this post.

Similar Posts

Leave a Comment

Comments are reviewed and must adhere to our comments policy.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This