Tierney Lyons, MLS, a reference librarian at Penn State Worthington Scranton, has written an article that was published in the national library journal, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.
The article, American Woods: Conservation of a Unique Item, describes a valuable and unique reference book in the field of forestry and libraries' attempts to preserve it, as the multi-volume American Woods set contains paper-thin wood samples requiring special handling and conservation to prevent damage and disintegration.
In her article, Ms. Lyons discusses why libraries and other institutions should consider this award-winning 1888 text for preservation selection, what conservation measures Penn State Libraries have taken, and what other types of preservation efforts have already been achieved.
"Its uniqueness is demonstrated by inclusion of actual specimens, especially those of endangered trees, making it an item that cannot be easily duplicated today," Ms. Lyons explains. "Each volume was published as orders were placed and could be purchased individually, without an entire set being manufactured, thus leading to rarity of complete sets. In addition, each instance of the book is completely distinctive because the wood slices placed in it are unique."
Time and cost were considerable factors with this project, however, Penn State was able to conserve this important piece of the sciences collection by creating a humidity-stable enclosure for under $50 per book, Ms. Lyons explained.
The article appears in the Summer 2011 Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship and can be accessed at: http://www.istl.org/11-summer/refereed3.html.
Ms. Lyons received her bachelor's degree in comparative literature from Penn State University and a master of library and information science from San Jose State University. She has been a reference librarian at Penn State Worthington Scranton since 2009.
Her current research interests include access and conservation of print and electronic materials, health sciences evidence-based practice instruction, and the visibility and relevance of libraries in the digital age.
She is a member of the Medical Library Association and is the 2012-13 chair-designate for the research and assessment committee of its Mid-Atlantic Chapter. She also serves on the Penn State Worthington Scranton Alumni Society's board of directors as faculty representative.
Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship is a quarterly publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries. It publishes peer-reviewed and board-accepted papers, including case studies, practical applications, theoretical essays, bibliographies, and research papers relevant to the functions and operations of science and technology libraries.