Library Establishes Department of Collections Care

books with processing slips sticking up

The Department of Collections Care brings under one functional group the intertwined areas of conservation, preservation, shelving, offsite storage, and environmental control for Library collections. The new department governs these measures for collections housed in Library facilities on campus as well as the Library Annex located nearby in Cranston, RI.

Michelle Venditelli, Director of Collections Care

This Library-wide approach to the stewardship of our physical collections is led by Michelle Venditelli, who has been promoted to Director of Collections Care from her previous position as Head of Preservation, Conservation, and the Library Annex.

Michelle spearheaded the Library’s Healthy Collections Ecosystem Initiative, through which she, her staff, and other Library colleagues have worked to implement a Food, Drink, and Plant Policy for Library staff; launched a comprehensive book re-shelving initiative in the Rockefeller Library; and established an Integrated Pest Management system — the global standard for natural environmental care. Michelle also foregrounded the importance of patron and staff health in an environment that has the potential to attract pests, mold, mildew, and other contaminants that thrive on the organic materials in books and other collections items.

The Department of Collections Care works closely with Library Facilities Management and Brown’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety to ensure optimal, ongoing conditions for collections materials and the humans who share space with them. Staff in all these areas serve proactive roles, and are nimble responders to unexpected environmental concerns like weather intrusions. And, of course, the Department of Collections Care is responsible for making special collections materials available to scholars while safeguarding the physical integrity of the items. Members of this department oversee collections conservation and disaster planning and response, create custom enclosures and exhibit supports, process collections with call number labels, and more, depending on the item. Michelle and her staff are essential, behind-the-scenes experts and contributors to the operations and academic mission of the Brown Library.

Question about the Department of Collections Care and its activities? Email [email protected].