ACRL

College & Research Libraries News

WASHINGTON HOTLINE

Carol C. Henderson

Deputy Director, ALA Washington Office (202) 547-4440; (ALA0025)

The rapid deterioration of paper, the need to promote permanent paper, paper and preservation technology, and recycled paper requirements were explored at a hearing May 4 by the House Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology. Lead-off witnesses Kurt Vonnegut and Barbara Goldsmith were among 86 authors and publishers who signed a declaration to use acid-free paper recently at the New York Public Library Commitment Day organized by Goldsmith. She brought testing pens for subcommittee members. "Sometimes even toilet paper is acid-free," according to Goldsmith, and she recommended a more systematic approach, using it where it is most needed.

Jeffery Denit, Deputy Director, Office of Solid Waste, Environmental Protection Agency, described Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act which requires EPA to develop procurement guidelines to encourage federal agencies to use products containing recovered materials to the maximum extent practicable. For book papers, EPA recommends at least 50 percent waste paper. Exceptions are possible, but reasons must be documented. Denit said EPA recognized that for some purposes, achieving extended lifetimes for paper is essential, but felt that need was small enough compared with all government use of paper to be the exception rather than the rule. He said EPA stands ready to work cooperatively with agencies with more expertise in permanent paper such as GPO, GSA, and JCP.

Questioning of Denit and representatives of Glatfelter and International paper companies made clear that recycled paper can be either acidic or alkaline depending on the materials and processes used. Recycling and permanence are not mutually exclusive goals. Both companies make alkaline paper from high-quality recycled paper. However, a percentage of mass consumer waste (such as carelessly separated newspapers with plastic and other contaminants) higher than 20 percent causes problems in producing copier, OCR and printing papers.

Acting Public Printer Joseph Jenifer said in response to questions that GPO will begin to segregate the alkaline paper they procure, and will use it where GPO thinks it is appropriate. Thus GPO has taken two steps: (1) to advise and encourage agencies to specify permanent paper in accordance with JCP standards where appropriate, and (2) to make decisions at GPO to use alkaline paper where appropriate.

Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI) testified in support of S.J.Res. 57, his pending measure (now with 38 cosponsors) to establish a national policy to promote use of permanent paper. Other witnesses included Librarian of Congress James Billington; Charles Kalina, Special Projects Officer, National Library of Medicine, and consultant, National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Standards Committee II; and Lawrence Hughes, Chairman of the Association of American Publishers. Hughes said that by 1991 he expected the availability of alkaline paper to be sufficient to meet publishers’ requirements, and no reason to believe it will cost more for hardcover books. There seemed to be a consensus among the expert witnesses that about 30 percent of uncoated fine papers were alkaline in 1988, and that the percentage is growing.

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The Robert Vosper IFLA Fellowships

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has established the IFLA Fellowships to be awarded on a competitive basis to outstanding librarians with an interest in and commitment to the international aspects of library service. Funding for these fellowships for a threeyear period has been provided by the Council on Library Resources, which has requested that the Fellowships be named for Robert Vosper in recognition of his long and effective commitment to the cause of international librarianship.

Robert Vosper has had an exceptional professional career that has included the administration of important academic and research libraries (Kansas, UCLA, and the Clark Library); a professorship at the UCLA Graduate School of Library and Information Science; and leadership and service to the profession at large through the most important U.S. professional associations. But it is Vosper’s contributions to international librarianship that support this designation of the IFLA Fellowships. The arena for libraries and librarians is, in the final analysis, not defined by geography. Recognizing this fact, Robert Vosper made the cause of effective international collaboration by libraries a target for his attention during much of his professional career.

Introduced to IFLA in 1960, Vosper soon found ways to encourage the Association of Research Libraries and the American Library Association to take an active and constructive part in IFLA activities. And, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Library Resources, Robert Vosper joined with other internationally minded members of the Board to encourage CLR support for IFLA, the most recent example being these fellowships (although without knowledge of the CLR intent to make this use of his name).

Robert Vosper has served IFLA in many ways over the years, and his interest continues still. His first IFLA meeting (1960, Sweden) established a powerful respect for the professional and humane aspirations that are IFLA’s foundation, and he was from that time on an enthusiastic participant. He served the organization as vice-president from 1971-1976; chaired the Steering Committee for Universal Bibliographic Control; edited the program papers of the 1974 IFLA Conference in Washington, D.C.; and was program chairman for the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration in Brussels (1977). Most of all, he has been an articulate spokesman for the cause of international librarianship.

In a recent biographical study of Vosper’s professional career, a 1980 letter from Margreet Wijnstroom, then IFLA’s Secretary General, was quoted: “Robert Vosper’s impact on international library affairs has been very considerable, mainly through the strength of his personality. He was extremely perceptive and a splendid mediator and politician.” CLR hopes that the IFLA Fellows will one day serve their profession and the international world of librarianship with the skill, wisdom, and grace of Robert Vosper.

For more information on the IFLA Fellowships, contact: IFLA Headquarters, POD 95312, 2509 CH The Hague, Netherlands (Telex 34402).

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