Effective preservation requires a dependable budget with active administrative coordination, even if the budget is not large at the beginning. While it is possible to improve conditions to a certain extent through changes in existing procedures, funding will be needed for supplies, training, and equipment if anything more than very basic preservation projects are to be undertaken.
In this section you will learn about budgeting for preservation, identifying outside sources of funding, and writing grants for preservation projects. Keep in mind, however, that although grant funding is an excellent resource for individual preservation projects, it should be used to supplement institutional funding, not to replace it. Institutional commitment to the preservation program through the allocation of funds for preservation activities is very important.
Setting preservation priorities involves many cost-related questions. Will you tackle lower-cost preservation options first? How will you plan for higher-cost activities? If your institution needs a preservation survey, will you pay for a professional one or will in-house staff conduct it? If you need to establish an ongoing library binding or book repair program, how much will it cost, and is your institution willing to bear the charges? Would outsourcing of some preservation activities be cheaper than doing the work in house? How will you fund special projects such as preservation microfilming or conservation treatment? Is outside funding available?
Remember, however, that cost is only one of the factors in setting preservation priorities; you must also consider each activity in the context of the entire preservation program. Is the activity a critical need? Will it provide a significant benefit for a large number of materials? If it provides a limited benefit, but is also low cost, should it be done anyway? The cost of a preservation activity must also be balanced against the risk of not undertaking the activity; neglecting an activity because of high cost (such as roof repair or installation of fire protection equipment) may have serious negative consequences for all or part of your collection over the long term.