(23 May 2023) The core mission of libraries is to ensure perpetual access to the record of knowledge. As a review of the NASIG webinar (formerly North American Serials Interest Group), ‘Integrating Preservation into Librarian Workflows’, by Jill Emery and Sunshine Carter, this article examines working models constructed to sustain perpetual access for their institutional communities. In reflecting on these data-intensive practices, both presenters now recognize that previously impactful collection development business decisions were being made in the dark. Reviewing the webinar also reveals that this issue of preservation access has two critically distinct aspects, which should not be conflated as interchangeable. One is concerned with long-term preservation and the other addresses a library’s ability to provide post-cancellation access to its user community, given budgetary or physical space constraints. The following is an analysis of how effective the processes explored in the webinar are in addressing both post-cancellation access and long-term perpetual access goals. Based on a 2018 NASIG survey, results indicated that many organizations in scholarly communications lacked preservation policies. In June 2022, as a result of the survey, NASIG released the model digital preservation policy as a template to guide consequential and explicit decision-making by addressing issues including scope, roles, responsibilities, tools and techniques. These policy issues are important for librarians to understand before negotiating content licenses, in sustaining long-term discovery and access, and when developing collaborative access frameworks to address collection development and maintenance challenges.
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