The Preservation Reformatting Division is responsible for the Library's program to provide access to at-risk materials by copying them to new formats, such as microfilm, paper facsimile copies or digital reproductions. In carrying out this responsibility, the Division
- manages the budget for preservation reformatting, prepares annual plans for using reformatting resources with Library divisions responsible for managing collections, and coordinates the annual plans with other Preservation Directorate divisions;
- executes reformatting plans by establishing requirements and standards for preservation reformatting, scheduling titles and collections for reformatting, contracting for preparation and reformatting of selected materials, preparing materials and assisting other divisions in the preparation of materials for reformatting, assuring effective access of reformatted materials through the creation and dissemination of guides and catalog records, and managing a quality assurance program;
- collaborates with other institutions to develop preservation reformatting projects that improve the quality, content and accessibility of reformatted works.
Curators, recommending officers, and preservation reformatting professionals together select items for reformatting which are at risk because they are on unstable media or are of high value. The content on unstable media is transferred as accurately as possible to new formats to provide continued user access. The Library creates surrogates for service in lieu of valuable items or items susceptible to theft or loss due their content or size.
Staff select techniques for reformatting (microfilming, paper-to-paper copying or digitizing) using established policies and guidelines after determining the characteristics of the original and fitness for use. Characteristics which drive the new format decision include the condition, type of item (newspaper, photograph, etc), presence of and importance of information in color, variations in paper and content and size, type of illustrations. Uses affecting the selection of the new format include service as a surrogate, reference use, high demand for delivery of the item, user requirements for certain types of copies.