Since most scholarly information is now electronic, the basic elements of any digital library preservation policy in the 21st century include:
- Cooperation. Every library has unique digital collections to preserve, but as the volume continues to grow exponentially, and as older material gets accessed less frequently, libraries may need to cooperate in order to collect and preserve materials long term.
- Environmental conditions. Optimal conditions for storing and preserving electronic information must continually be reexamined and improved.
- Disaster planning. A library disaster plan should build on an institution’s IT disaster plan to address specific needs.
- Repositories. Ideally, repository collections should be well preserved, sharable, and cost-effective and could expand on the consortial efforts already in use.
"Preservation in the 21st century must be proactive, visionary, and cooperative. If it is not, vast amounts of cultural heritage are in danger of vanishing."