NOTES FROM THE PRESERVATION OFFICE
Because I haven't many preservation questions, here are two questions for you.
Send me your answers. First, what has at least six legs and loves to eat in the Li-
braries? Second, how do we get them to eat elsewhere?
d now, for your listening enjoyment:
Can you hear the cockroaches munch as you read this line? Close your
eyes. Is this a swamp? It's a dark, though still day. Dense trees. -Lush
leaves. Close your eyes, again. Listen. The call of osprey. A bullfrog's
gruff re-echo. The earth sways beneath you like a continent over a molten
core. Then, a dull crunch. The sound of cockroaches advancing. Two.
Ten. A nation of cockroaches. Their sounds, ever louder, fill this space.
White noise. Static on a radio. A thousand souls whispering prophesies
like curses you must never forget. In your mind's eye now, you can see
them aloft as black bubbles boiled up from a steamy sea of pitch. A chill
runs its dead finger up, then down your spine. The swell and the sway of
the cockroaches. The earth upon which you stand. Listen, again.
This is the school-year. You need not close your eyes. The pop and the
hiss you hear is a soda. This is the Libraries, any one of them. It's after
6:00 p.m.; you've gone for the day; and it is now, especially, patrons and
cockroaches have begun their nightly feast on soda and snack foods alike.
Crumbs fall into books' gutters. Pages are sprayed with sweet soda. Food
oils and stains will remain. Cans and wrappers, with the residue of sub-
stance of what they contained, will be left behind. Some may even be in
the trash, but that
'- won't matter. The
"cleaning crews" will
come quickly, almost
as soon as the lights
have been put out.
Their backs will glis-
? ten with the reflec-
l ^tance of security
lights. Their tentacles
will find every crumb
or scent of soda, even
if they have to dig
.. through spines and
-- -- pages like miners
.._..........- ..... ........ .. "-' .. *" working for food.
mscA bi1 Cra;j Br,,n.
-- .-...-..-----....- -... --.--- -- ----" .. So, what do we do?
PRESERVATION PLANNING PROJECT
The Preservation Planning Program (PPP) has entered its next phase. As of Au-
gust 15, all information gathering ceased. Task forces are now busy inputting
and analyzing results of information, and should be writing their reports.
I would like to thank all of you who had any part in the PPP to date. Much of the
work was done during the hectic summer months when the Libraries and their
staff scramble to complete the unfinished work of the year, to plan and implement
ambitious new projects, to perform analyses and inventories for other projects,
and even to move whole collections. Thank you.
We'll share the results of information gathering with you as soon as we can.
- Erich Kesse