Preservation education for staff within an institution may take on different forms, depending on the type of institution and the responsibilities of those being targeted. Facilities personnel and administration do not need to know specifics of handling collections, while library shelvers do not need to be convinced of the need for improved climate control for the collection.
There are a variety of ways that staff members can be educated about preservation. Workshops presented on general or specific preservation topics by outside agencies may be useful. These tend to be half- or full-day offsite workshops. Offsite training has its advantages: staff may concentrate better when removed from the regular workplace, and training from an outside "expert" may make more of an impression than in-house training.
In-house training, however, has the benefit of focusing on issues specific to your institution. You might include very short presentations as part of a regular staff meeting, hour-long orientations for new staff, or hands-on training sessions for student workers. Handouts summarizing good preservation practices may also be helpful.
The concept of preventive preservation should always be stressed, perhaps by drawing analogies to preventive maintenance of a car or a house. Real-life examples of damaged items or other visual aids can be very effective. It is very important to keep the subject matter relevant to the audience, to keep presentations from being too technical, and to encourage discussion of concerns that staff members may have.
Pointing out that most of your institution's activities have a preservation component (e.g., the decision to acquire collections, cataloging and processing, shelving and storage, circulation and use, exhibition) can make participants think about preservation in a new way. Depending on the audience, specific subjects covered might include handling books, book repair, disaster planning, preservation microfilming, and/or environmental control.
Also remember that staff members are not just being educated so that they themselves will treat materials correctly, but also so that they in turn can educate users in the proper care of collections. Suggestions for instructing users in a positive way should be presented. Sample scenarios in which staff members discuss how they would respond to different situations involving users might be helpful.