Collection maintenance refers to the daily care of collections: keeping the stacks/storage area neat and clean, performing general housekeeping tasks in the building, and periodically cleaning the collections themselves.
These activities may differ somewhat from institution to institution. The staff of a public or academic library may need to straighten its shelves daily, while in an archives, staff must ensure that collections are in the right order and returned to the proper storage area. A library with general collections may undertake a cleaning project using student assistants, while a special collections department may contract with a conservator to clean certain materials. The common element in all these activities, however, is the need to continually observe the condition of collections and ensure that they are properly cared for.