Preservation of, and access to, legal deposit materials at the Msunduzi Library, Pietermaritzburg.
Nsibirwa, Zawedde Barlow.
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The study investigated preservation of, and access to, legal deposit materials at the Msunduzi Municipal Library. Constant access to legal deposit materials will depend on proper preservation methods from the time they are first produced. The focus was to identify how the different materials are preserved and stored, especially because every institution has unique needs, especially with regard to the climatic conditions of the area. The study also examined challenges faced by the depository, skills and knowledge of the depository staff about preventative preservation methods, resources for conservation and collection management strategies. The methods to help make materials accessible were established by examining the means and processes used. Methodological triangulation was used to look at the study in different ways and this included a questionnaire, interviews, observation and collection of graphic data. The units of analysis were the staff of the legal deposit department and the whole population was surveyed. In this study, quantitative and qualitative techniques were employed. The results of the self-administered question and observation schedule were analysed using SPSS. Data collected using the interview schedule was analysed qualitatively. The results of the study show that there are inadequate preservation activities and strategies for legal deposit materials at the Msunduzi Municipal Library. The legal deposit collection was at risk of being lost and inaccessible to present and future generations. This was mostly due to lack of preservation activities and strategies as a result of lack of knowledge in preservation, adequate funding, staff training, preservation policies, environmental control of stack rooms and the proper handling and storage of materials.