Keeping Important Documents Healthy

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This article was prepared for the April 24, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Office Missionaries

A missionary in a third world country might try to help

villagers with such services as irrigation techniques. A missionary

working in an upscale business community could offer, instead,


for achieving business success while maintaining ethical standards.

"Today’s leader needs to have integrity 24 by 7," says John

C. Maxwell of Maximum Impact, a motivational speaker and the author

of "Developing the Leader Within You" (

"People don’t listen to leaders as much as they watch the way

they live today. They watch us like hawks. Whether they are customers

or co-workers, they react to what they see — because everything

rises and falls on leadership."

This advice is a sample of what will be dispensed at a simulcast


being sponsored by a new mission church that aims its message to the

"unchurched" professionals in the Princeton business


Rev. Howard McNamara, founder of Crosspointe Church, invites

anyone to attend "Becoming a Person of Influence" on Saturday,

April 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 246 Griggstown Road in Belle

Mead. The event is free but the church will accept donations to cover

the $79 per person cost. A complimentary preview tape is available.

Call 609-279-9777 to register.

"We hope this seminar can help get our values lined up so we all

can be a significant influence on others," says McNamara. An


of Penn State, Class of 1996, McNamara went to Dallas Theological

Seminary and has a doctoral degree from Southwest Baptist Seminary.

He has pastored two large churches and started two churches, one in

Texas and the other near Erie, Pennsylvania.

"Ninety to 95 percent of professionals who live in the Princeton

area are not connected with a church," says McNamara, who opened

an office in Research Park last year (609-915-4022; fax, 609-683-9633, He currently meets with his congregation

in private homes and will soon be renting a location. The funding

comes from a Baptist church that had closed down; the proceeds from

the sale of its assets were set aside to establish a new church in

the area.

"Our church is designed to be intradenominational," says


"It is our commitment to reach across lines. I consider Princeton

the Silicon Valley of the east. World citizens study here, work here,

and influence the world."

He views the Maximum Impact simulcast as a service to the community:

"The church should have its hand extended in giving, and we will

find as many different ways as possible." He also points out that

the material will not be religious. "It is the same kind of


that these speakers would make to Fortune 100 companies. The idea

is to establish a cordial relationship with those who attend —

and if someone is seeking a church affiliation we’d like to talk."

The session will be led by motivational speaker Maxwell, author of

"Developing the Leader Within You," and his guests will be

Denis Waitley, author of "The Psychology of Winning,"

and a sports celebrity — South Carolina football coach Lou

Holtz, known for his long record of building winning teams and

especially for taking Notre Dame to the national championship in 1988.

To achieve personal success, don’t focus on it, says Maxwell in an

interview on the preview tape. His tips:

Make a commitment to grow everyday. One of the most


characteristics of "peak performers," says Maxwell, "is

an infectious talent for moving into the future generating new


and living with the sense that there is more work to be done."

Make a commitment to grow beyond your own environment.

"Get out of what I call your environment box. As a pastor,"

says Maxwell, "I discovered very quickly was that I was in a


that had a nongrowth environment. Small thinkers. Suspicious of the


He quotes Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, known for

searching out better ways of doing things from other companies:


never shut up about the great things that lie ahead for a company

whose people get up every morning and come to work knowing convinced

that there is a better way of doing everything they do and determined

to find out who knows that way and who they can learn it."

But growth demands a temporary surrender of security, he cautions.

For instance, Cal Ripken never missed a game for the Baltimore


despite any of his aches and pains, because he had conditioned himself

to "being comfortable being uncomfortable."

Make a commitment to grow beyond your own success. He

quotes Sidney Harris: "A winner knows how much he still has to

learn even when he is considered an expert by others and a loser wants

to be considered an expert by the others before he has learned enough

to know how little he knows."

Make a commitment to give up to grow up. You’ve got to

get up to go up, or instead of leaving footprints in the sands of

time, you will leave butt prints in the sands of time. More elegantly,

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that for everything you gain, you lose


If you want to grow; make a commitment to meet with others

who want to grow. "Winners run with winners; losers run with

losers; people who are going to accomplish something run with people

who are going to accomplish something. Look carefully, at the closest

associations in your life, for that is the direction in which you

are heading."

"If you really want to stop plateauing in your life," says

Maxwell, "you have to be more concerned with your personal growth

than with your personal success. The highest reward for our toil is

not what we get for it, but what we become by it. So many people


that. Success does not bring growth, but growth does bring


— Barbara Fox

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Keeping Important Documents Healthy

Keep that copier paper coming. The long-predicted


office is nowhere in sight. A lot of the paper in an office is


— as may or may not have been the case with the reams Andersen

auditors shredded while at work for Enron. Other paper, however, is

precious. Key contracts, vintage photos of the firm’s founders,


documents, and tax back-up materials could fall into this category.

In a busy office, ensuring the security of this paper is often a



Expert help is available. On Saturday, April 27, at 8:30 a.m.,


Dalton, director of field service at the Northeast Document


Center, a Massachusetts-based non-profit, speaks on "A is for

Archives: Preserving Paper-Based Materials" at a meeting of Union

County Cultural & Heritage Affairs at Kean University Little Theater.

Cost: $15. Call 908-558-2550.

Those unable to attend will find a comprehensive, easy-to-follow plan

for preserving important paper at the Northeast Document Conservation

Center’s website, Here are excerpts from the website’s


Why paper goes bad. Paper and board are by far the most

common material found in library, archives, and records collections.

Early paper made from materials such as linen and hemp was relatively

stable and durable.

Unfortunately, the quality of paper has steadily declined since the

late 18th century, primarily due to increased demand, which forced

greater mechanization and resulted in poorer quality paper. For


between 1600 and 1800 changes were made in ways of beating the pulp,

resulting in a paper sheet with less strength. Also, bleaching


such as chlorine, were increasingly used to improve the brightness

of the page. Residual chemicals such as this could cause the paper

to become prematurely acidic.

Conservators generally consider the period from 1850 to the present

to be the era of "bad paper." This is primarily a result of

the increased use of alum-rosin sizing, and the use of plentiful


to make paper pulp. Most paper made with unpurified groundwood pulps

(e.g. newsprint) have a life expectancy of less than 50 years. Note

that fine quality materials also deteriorate over time, but are more

chemically stable and have a longer life expectancy if stored and

handled correctly.

Where do I start. Convincing others of the importance

of preservation can be a challenging process. Deterioration happens

slowly over a long period of time and is not immediately obvious,

especially if it is due to internal vice, which is caused by weakness

in the chemical or physical makeup of an object introduced during

the manufacture of paper, or environmental problems. But anyone who

has handled seldom-used books and been confronted with flakes of


paper, knows that paper collections will not survive unless they


special care.

Several strategies may be helpful in demonstrating the importance

of preservation to others. Documenting deterioration and showing


materials to others can be very effective; highlighting positive


when preservation actions are carried out may also have an impact.

If you are the person designated to take charge of preserving a


you must become informed about preservation issues and keep up with

recent developments in the field. You should try to share preservation

information with your colleagues in a non-threatening way — so

that they do not resent the "preservation police."

Conduct a survey. One way to begin addressing preservation

problems within an institution is to conduct a survey. The purpose

of a general needs assessment survey is to identify hazards to the

collection overall and to help preserve materials using preventive

maintenance strategies. For example, this type of survey examines

building conditions, storage and handling procedures, disaster


and policies that impact preservation.

Realize preservation is a many faceted job. Several areas

of activity make up a preservation program. Even a small organization

— or a private collector — can undertake such a program.


include environmental control, providing a moderate and stable


and humidity, and controlling exposure to light; emergency


preventing and responding to damage from water, fire, or other


situation; security, protecting collections from theft and/or


storage and handling, using non-damaging storage enclosures and proper

storage furniture, cleaning storage areas, and using care when


reformatting, when reproducing deteriorating collections onto stable

media to preserve the informational content, handling should be


Keeping irreplaceable paper safe is a battle that must be fought

on many fronts. The Northeast Document Conservation Center warns


light, pollution, excess heat, book drops, poor quality paper, and

much more, including insects.

There are an estimated 6 million species of insects, the center’s

website informs, and more than 70 different species have been


as enemies of paper. The most common species affecting library and

archives material are silverfish, firebrats, psocids (booklice), and

cockroaches. Rodents are a problem.

Any company leaning toward complacency on the issue of preservation

might be jolted by the following information: Of course rats, mice,

squirrels, birds, and other small animals can cause significant damage

to paper collections. Rodents especially are attracted to environments

that are dark, wet, dirty, cluttered, and undisturbed.

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