jex-12032020-nws-quilt-a01

The Friends of the Anamosa Library group is holding a quilt raffle to raise funds to cover the costs of binding the library’s stock of newspapers.

Anamosa

There’s about a week left in the quilt raffle for the library, sponsored by the Friends of the Anamosa Library group.

Anamosa Library Director Rebecca Vernon said the group came to her and asked her what project she was eyeing next. She offered several options, but one particular project caught their attention.

“Basically, since the late ‘80s, the library has been saving copies of the Journal-Eureka that we’ve been receiving through our weekly subscription, and we’re currently just storing them in plastic bins, which is all well and good, until people want to come in and perhaps look through those,” Vernon said.

In addition to the physical copies of the paper, the library also hosts digital versions of the archives for the public to peruse, but they’re not perfect.

“Sometimes, the pictures don’t come through really well in the microfilm,” Vernon said.

The group felt making the copies easier to store and better preserve them for future generations was a worthy project. Vernon said that it’s becoming increasingly important to protect these particular copies, given the projects the archives are generally used for.

“They’re looking for pictures of parents, or grandparents or even pictures of themselves when they were teenagers. So, as we move forward, the age bracket will have moved up, and they’ll be more interested in the ’80s and then the ‘90s,” she said. “We’d like to be ready for that when that happens.”

It is roughly estimated that the project will cost around slightly more than $5,000. With more papers archived every year, that price grows. The idea, according to Vernon, would be to bind papers on a yearly basis once they are caught up with their backlog.

“Even though all of the newspapers are digitized and getting used quite a bit online, that is our most used online resource, there’s still value in preserving the physical newspapers. In addition to having those pictures available for people, preserving history in its original physical format preserves it past the time when perhaps the digital version of this comes out of date, and you have to redo it,” Vernon said.

“Saving our local history is key, and our local newspaper has a lot of local history in it.”

The winner of the quilt will be drawn at 10 a.m. on Dec. 10. Tickets are $5 or $12 for three tickets. Check out the Anamosa library’s Facebook page or contact the Anamosa library for more details.

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