Working space for collections
I wonder if there is room for a further specification along the lines of:
"the service has sufficient space and facilities available for work on collections to be undertaken securely and in line with good preservation practice"
Why the contribution is important
Space for working on archives is essential to the development of collections, whether by tackling cataloguing backlogs, by digitising, cleaning, repackaging, active conservation or many other pieces of work which need to take place in a secure area. Having little or no space for staff to work on collections is a practical limitation on what can be achieved and when (e.g. having to use a closed searchroom to sort large collections or for volunteer projects). It can also lead to poor handling and risk management, if documents are being sorted in office space along with printer cartridges and coffee cups.
I'm aware this needs to be scalable and for smaller services might be as simple as having a large table used for collections work - perhaps I'm over-specifying by thinking this needs to be in a standard and it is implicitly included in preservation, conservation and other collections work elements?
But without specifying the requirement for facilities which meet the needs of collection development activity, are we missing an important means of assessing whether the service can actually do what it is aiming to?
I'm very conscious that when I get archive students to design archive buildings, staff accommodation and collections workspace is the area they consistently miss out of their completed designs. Are we making the same mistake?