A reader has asked whether any libraries have cooperative agreements to store back-up tapes? The library in question keeps a set of grandfather disc packs (a set of disc packs that was made two cycles ago-i.e., two updates have been made since then) at a remote branch in case the sets at the central library are destroyed. The library is thinking of keeping a second grandfather set on magnetic tape at a location well outside the library's service area and would prefer to have it be a facility shared with other libraries.
We know of no such facility, nor do we know of many libraries that take such extraordinary precautions to protect their data. Most libraries keep backup discs or tapes in the same building. They run the risk that all copies of the data will be destroyed, not just for the records that serve that building, but the entire library system.
Some of the regional networks affiliated with OCLC provide an OCLC archival tape storage and maintenance facility and may be willing to accept back-up tapes from a library's local system. Some of the COM service bureaus also maintain many customer tapes. The fee for storage alone should be relatively modest, provided that an organization can be persuaded to provide this service.
Libraries which are participating in a cooperative tape storage program are invited to write Richard W. Boss at ISCI, Box 34504, Bethesda, MD 20817 or call (301) 299-6606.