Preservation Assessment Grant


Library staff know that their special community collections require more specialized care, but many do not have the training or experience required to ensure proper preservation for these collections.

This program provides eligible libraries funds to engage with a qualified preservation assessor for site visit(s) and a formal Preservation Assessment report. The Preservation Assessment report will identify short-term and long-term preservation priorities from a third-party expert.   

Program Details

The library will contract with an MBLC-approved consultant of their choosing to provide site visit(s) and a written Preservation Assessment report. MBLC maintains a list of qualified assessors, which is shared with awardees.

The report must cover, at a minimum, the following preservation issues in relation to the library's special collections:

  • Building stability issues for collections storage and exhibitions 
  • Collections security
  • Policies and procedures for all aspects of special collection management
  • Environmental conditions and controls
  • Identifying best for safe storage: shelving practices, storage furniture choices, and recommending object enclosures
  • Dealing with particularly challenging formats
  • Selection procedures for digitization, conservation, or exhibition
  • Prioritized ‘next steps’ for short- and long-term planning

As a condition of this program, the entirety of the award ($6,000) must be paid to the selected preservation consultant.

Upon completion, the library must submit a financial report, performance report, and the Preservation Assessment Report to MBLC through its grant management software.


Any Massachusetts library that satisfies the following requirements is eligible to apply:

  1. Current Strategic Plan on file with MBLC
  2. Member of Massachusetts Library System (MLS)
  3. Public libraries must be certified to receive State Aid


March 4, 2024: Grant application opens.

March 25, 2024: Grant application closes.

April 2024: Awardees are notified and should begin reaching out to Preservation Assessment vendors to schedule their visit(s).

September 30, 2024: All project activities must be completed by this date. All grant funds must be fully expended by this date.


Self-Assessment - Libraries must complete the three-part Self-Assessment as part of the application process. Libraries should request an emailed copy of the assessment when prompted, as they will need to share the completed Self-Assessment with the Preservation Assessor prior to their visit.

Preservation Assessment Application - Libraries must apply through Amplifund, MBLC's grant management software.

This training video and related slides offers guidance on completing the application. Please note that the linked video and slides are not for this specific application, but they will provide the necessary information for applicants.

Libraries should request $6,000 in the award requested field of the application.



For More Information

Rob Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development
617-725-1860 x237
857-488-6590 (Mobile)