You are here

As budgets for acquiring print materials get smaller, keeping, and caring for what is already in our collections becomes more important. Book prices are going up, binding quality can be inconsistent, and in the course of repeated circulations, day-to-day handling, shelving, and photocopying, library books sustain significant damage. As an alternative to replacing these volumes, many books can be returned to reasonably good condition if you know how to perform a few simple repairs.

In this course, you will learn how to assess book damage, how to identify which books can be repaired safely, and how to perform basic book repairs. If you, or someone you supervise, is responsible for caring for the condition of your collection, then this course can save you time and help you get those library materials back into users' hands.

Workshop Description: This one-day hands-on workshop covers basic, beginners' level skills for keeping a circulating collection of books in good repair. Participants will gain an understanding of the types of repairs to carry out, how to do the repairs, and the types of damage that need to be addressed by other means. Through discussion, presentation, and actual hands-on exercises you will become familiar with the basic book repairs that can be done with simple tools, equipment and materials. All steps will be clearly illustrated and everyone will practice doing the repairs.

Note: This course addresses only repairs and maintenance of general circulating collections, and is not meant for preservation of special or rare materials.

Pre-workshop assignment: Please bring the following items to the workshop:
Three damaged books, if possible no larger than 6"x 9", on which to practice
Several other damaged books for discussion of evaluation decisions
An apron to protect your clothes

Preliminary Course Outline

  • The Repair Continuum
    • Easy repairs
      • Cleaning
      • Loose hinges
  • Paper and its Grain
    • Replacing end-sheets
    • Mending tears
  • Page Replacements
    • Practice replacing and tipping in loose pages
  • Spine Replacements
    • Practice replacing worn spines
  • Collection Maintenance
    • Documentation
    • Supplies/suppliers
    • Practice corner repair

Workshop Instructor: Margit J. Smith