C2CC Caring for Books

C2CC Caring for Books

For signing in today, it looks
like our numbers are still crawling, we’re up to 142. And I have been really excited
to see a surge in new members on the online community. So for those of you who are
joining us for the first time, welcome. Before we get started, just let
me give a quick introduction to the community and
then we can move on. The Connecting to
Collections Online Community was originally
created in cooperation with the American Association
for State and Local History and with funding from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services. The community and
webinars are moderated by Heritage Preservation. And Learning Times
is kind enough to help us with both our
website and our webinars. The goal of the online
community has always been to help smaller
museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies quickly
locate reliable preservation resources into network
with their colleagues, like you’re doing right now. Feel free to keep saying hi. To help you do so, we’ve
compiled an extensive list of online resources that
are broken up by topic on the online community. In addition, we also host
free drop in webinars, like the one today,
on topics that we hope you’ll find useful. A recording of all of our
webinars, including this one, can be found under
webinar archive. And of course, if you’re
interested in continuing the discussion, you’re welcome
to sign up to become a member and that means you’ll be able
to contribute to the discussion board. So today I am so pleased to
welcome back the Donia Conn. Donia has worked in
conservation and preservation for the past 18
years, specializing in book conservation and
preservation training. She is a Preservation
Consultant and adjunct faculty for the Simmons
College Graduate School of Library and
Information Sciences, where she teaches preservation
management and collections maintenance. She’s also a
professional associate of the American Institute
for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work. And if you took our collections
care basic course last year, you will recall that Donia
was an instructor on that. So Donia, I am going to move my
mic away and move yours over. And I will just remind
folks, if you have questions at all during this
presentation, feel free to– [AUDIO OUT] OK. All right. Super. So thank you all for joining us. It’s actually really quite
an honor to have so many of you signing in. Although, it was a
little discombobulating when I tried to sign
in as the instructor, and I couldn’t
actually get in because we had reached our limit. So this is actually
very exciting. So welcome to everybody. And I know I had sent a
couple of polls to Jenny. And before we
really get started, I’m going to see if she can
pull up those polls for me so that I can get a little bit
more sense of who all of you are, since I can’t
say, raise your hands, because I can’t see all 100
some odd of you’s hands here. So if you could just answer
the poll questions for me that would be great,
because it does help me know what direction to
take my digressions– maybe, let’s say. Because if you did take
the care and handling sessions last year, you do know
that I tend to digress a bit. OK. So we’re getting them in. It’s looking like today
we’ve got a lot of museums, some libraries, a few archives. OK. Super. I’m going to let you
all keep answering here. It’s looking like most
of you, at least in terms of your overall
collections, don’t have a huge collection of books. So this is good
because they’re going to be more unfamiliar to you. So I’m going to just
start talking now. So whenever Jenny wants
to pull down the polls. Thank you. So what we really want
to talk about today is how can we care
for our books. And you just can’t
get a better example of what can go wrong with
this poor book, which actually got eaten by a puppy. So what we’re going to
think about today is really, what we can do to
protect our books to the best of our
abilities, apart from saying, no, you can’t check
out our books anymore. So I just want to do a quick
review of the environment that we want. So if you took
any of the courses or have watched any of
the recording since then, of last year’s programs,
you’ll probably be somewhat familiar with the
environmental best practices. So what we want to
be thinking about is if you’ve got a combined
stack and user area– so generally, what you find in
public libraries, for reference collections, and
things of that nature, you want to try to keep the
temperature around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s going to be comfortable
enough for people, but it’s also going to be
a good level for the books. If you’ve got
dedicated storage– so if you’ve got
a rare books vault or something of that
nature, you can drop the temperature fairly low. Books actually like
it much cooler than we as human beings do. So the paper, the
leather, the cloth– it’s all going to live a
much longer life if it’s in a cooler temperature. We also want to keep the
relative humidity down. Very important here. Ideally, between 30% and
50%, maybe 30% and 60%. The trouble is, is when you
start getting up over 60%– and I know I’m talking
about this in July, in the summer, so all of
us are probably struggling a little bit with our
climate control systems to try to keep it at 60%. The trouble is, is when we
start going higher than that, we run the risk of mold. And if you really have problems
with your relative humidity, you may need to
compensate by raising the temperature a little bit. Because if we remember, warmer
air holds more moisture. To bring that relative
humidity down– and it’s much more important
for that relative humidity down than for the temperature
to be down because of the mold. We will definitely get mold
if the relative humidity is too high. We also want to
control the light, whether our collections are
in storage or on exhibit. If we’re in storage– we can
try to keep the lights off if you have dedicated storage,
or install motion sensors, although that can get a
little tricky at times. And try to keep really
important items, or really light sensitive items, in drop
spine boxes, wrappers, something of the ilk. Cover your windows with
draperies or UV blocking film. That’s going to help block
out some of the UV light. But remember, all
light is damaging. So we really want to think
about overall light levels. And then if you’re
putting things on exhibit, think about limiting
the duration to three to four
months and keeping the light levels really low. Oh yes. Good question from
down in El Paso. What about very low humidity? If you have a hard time getting
the relative humidity up to 30%, which many of us
actually have– most of us on the northern half of the
country have– come winter, it’s really hard. And in desert areas
it’s really hard. You might want to
try, if you can, lowering the temperature
a little bit. Lower temperatures
hold less moisture, so your relative
humidity will go up. I don’t know how feasible
that will be for, essentially, your budget because it will
mean that your HVAC system will run longer. You can also consider
getting a humidifier. And some of your HVAC systems,
if you have an HVAC system, will take a humidifier as
compared to a dehumidifier. And that may be
what you need to do. But you’ll need to talk
to your facility’s people and the manufacturer
of your HVAC system to see what is the
possibility for that system. But that might be
another way to do it. So that’s just a real quick
overview of the environment. We did a whole webinar on
this from last year’s series. So be sure to check it out
under the archived webinars. Or is it under the programs? I can’t remember now. Jenny will send something
out because my brain is not on last year’s
programs, but on this. So we’re going to start by
talking about, basically, the furniture that our books
are going to be stored on. And we want to think
about making sure that we have good, freestanding,
powder coated steel shelving. Powder coated steel is the best. You can use baked
enamels, as well as the chrome plated shelving. The chrome plated
shelving really should only be used,
however, if everything is going to be in
boxes, because you don’t want to get little
waffle bottoms on your books. You want to make sure they’re
of adequate size and strength. This is especially
important if you want to save money and buy
your storage furniture at say, Home Depot, or Lowe’s,
or something like that. Make sure you read what the
weight is for each shelf. And then just for
grins, find out how many books fit on
a shelf and weigh them. It’s much heavier
than you think. So just be sure to do
your due diligence, and don’t get shelves
that are going to be a bit droopy and saggy. So for example, here we’ve got a
set of shelves that is just not quite adequate, as you
can see, for the materials that are on it. So they tried to prop it up on
one side with a filing cabinet, but obviously, the other side
is not being well supported. And you can see how
much it sagging already. And so we want to
really try to avoid, not only the wooden shelves, but
inadequate and weak shelving. We want to think
about, of course, again, our relative humidity. If you’re storing something
in an area that’s really highly humid, not only do
you run the risk of mold, but you also run the risk of
your shelves actually starting to get rusty. And when this happens,
the surface of the shelf gets really rough. It will be almost like
sandpaper to your books. And of course, that rust
can transfer– another thing we don’t really want. Again, I can’t stress
adequate strength. You’d be surprised at
how many times I’ve gone to institutions
to do assessments and they’ve really
tried to save money. And they’ve gone out and
bought garage shelving– which yes, is baked enamel. It should be really stable. However, it’s not strong enough. So please, please, please think
about what you’re storing on it and what the load for each of
those shelves is going to be. And then try to make sure there
aren’t any sort of projections, or ridges, or anything like
that, that could be damaging. So any bolts sticking
out– anything like that. And avoid finishes
or lubricants that might be damaging to your
collections or [INAUDIBLE]. This includes any cleaning
supplies you may want to use. So if you’ve got somebody who
comes in and dusts your shelves for you, make sure
they’re not using anything like Pledge or something. We really want to make sure
that we aren’t adding anything to the collections that we want. So nice, powder
coated steel shelves. Here’s a nice set
of compact shelving. And compact shelving is great,
it buys you a lot of space. It’s built for
books, so it’s going to be of adequate
size and strength. But you want to make
sure about where you’re putting your compact shelving. So if you’re considering
compact shelving, and it’s not on the
very ground floor where your foundation is–
usually, for most of us that’s the basement. For some of us it can be
the ground floor, depending on where your building is. You want to check floor loads. So if it’s going on any
sort of upper floors, make sure that the floors
can handle the extra weight because now you’re packing more
books into a smaller space. It’s going to be much heavier. Also, if you’re putting your
compact shelving in a basement, and you’re really using
it for really high density storage of materials that
don’t get used often, and you have a damp
basement, be sure to set those sections open so
that air can flow through. Airflow is really important
in combating mold. And if you have all of
your compact shelves closed up tight except
for one section, and it’s damp in your basement,
and you don’t get people using those materials much
to have good air exchange, you’re going to have
trouble with mold. I have worked with
many institutions on just this problem. So just be sure to
think about that. And finally, if you do
have wooden shelves– because I know there are many
of you that probably have reference rooms
or libraries that have the old wooden shelving
that is actually built in and part of, essentially,
the furniture and the look and the design of
the room, you really want to think about
making sure that there’s some sort of coating. Ideally, you would get
something called Marvelseal. But essentially,
it’s going to look like you’re covering
all of your shelves in tinfoil, which is
probably not ideal. It’s not going to be perfect,
but you can’t put down sheets of the polyester sheeting. So what used to be Mylar,
and is now Melinex– you can put that down. It’s not going to be a
perfect vapor barrier, but it will help block much of
the materials being off gassed by the wood, and is essentially
clear so you won’t see it. Or you can use a water-based
polyurethane which will also block some of that
material coming through, and some of the old
volatile organic compounds coming off of the old
varnish or polyurethanes. If you’re going
to go that route, be sure you read the
manufacturer’s directions for how long it needs to cure. Trust me. You don’t want to put this
stuff on, think it’s dry, put your books on,
and then have a bunch of books stuck to your shelves
because the polyurethane or the latex paint that you
put on wasn’t fully cured. And this, I can definitely tell
you from personal experience. So don’t do what I
did, read the can. OK. Read to the can. So we also want
to not just think about what sort of furniture we
have our collection stored on, we also want to think about
where and how we are actually storing our materials. OK. We want to make
sure that we allow for easy access
and safe movement. This is both of
people, of carts, of collections– you
can imagine trying to get to some of the boxes in
the very back of this picture. How much stuff do you need to
move just to get into the back? And then how well
are you going to be able to maneuver a large box
that’s potentially heavy? Because as books get
larger they get heavier. You do need to think
about, not just the safety of your
collections, but your safety. And that can be a
little bit awkward. Oh, Susan. I will get back to your
question in just a bit. It’s a good one. I will get to it. We want to make sure
there’s enough space for air flow around our collections. So as I was saying
with compact shelving, it really also can go
for our collections that are in storage. So even here, it may
not be compact storage, but things are really
tightly packed in here. There’s not a lot of
air flowing around, so we can have a
problem again with mold. And if you do have a problem
with mold in a space like this, how are you going
to know about it? And how are you going to deal
with it, because there is just so much material? OK. You want to make sure you
have a reasonable shelf height for the retrieval
of your collections. This is very much a
staff safety issue. I’m very much an
advocate of having a lot of step stools
or little ladders all over the place in your
collection storage areas. Because I am five feet
tall– and believe me, even with just a kick step, it’s
hard to get to the top shelf. So reasonable shelf heights
for safe retrievals. I’m just asking. And you want to make sure that
you’re meeting the preservation needs of special formats. And for this, one of the
examples that I really like to use are musical scores. And so if any of you have
ever dealt with scores, you know that they just don’t
come in a standard size. They’re all skinny, but they
can be any height imaginable. So it’s really hard
to get shelving built for musical scores. It’s the same with a
large oversized volumes. It can be tricky to
find the right shelving. And we’ll get to that–
oversized volumes like that, in just a bit. But be thinking in
your storage area about some of these
oddball items. And what you can kind
of get a sense of here, is that we’re doing
the best that we can in this institution. There wasn’t any more space. And it was really
difficult for the staff to maneuver down the
walkways with carts, without bumping into
some of these scores. And likewise, students
with backpacks would also be bumping into them. So you can see all
of the bits of tape that are on some of these edges. So like right here, and
over here, and down here– and these bits of
tape were put on to try to protect those edges
from getting hit all the time. And as you can see,
especially from the one down here on the bottom,
it needs to be replaced. It’s starting to run out. So it can be very
tricky in dealing with some of these odd sized,
odd shaped, or sometimes, just plain odd items. And so we really want to have
in the backs of our heads as we’re thinking
about how we’re going to store our bound
volumes– about the type of shelving that we have
and what sort of space we’re working with. So I want to keep that
in the back of your mind. So before I move on
to the actual storing of bound volumes– back
to Susan’s questions about shelves made from Formica
like materials over wood. For a lot of that, it’s probably
going to be really good. The only thing I would
check is what adhesive they used to secure the
Formica to the wood. The Formica itself, is
going to be really good. It’s good, it’s stable. It doesn’t off-gas. The question is, essentially,
what adhesive was used? Because a lot of
those can off-gas. The other question is
going to be, how old is it? And that can also play into how
much more it’s going off-gas. So if you’ve got wooden shells
and they are really old– OK. Defining really old,
100 years or more. They’ve probably off-gassed
everything they’re going to. But if you’ve got brand
new oak shelving– oak is the worst offender. You definitely need
to do something to try to seal in, essentially,
the formaldehyde that’s going to be coming off of the wood. All right. So we want to really
talk about now, how to really store
and care for our books. And so we’ve talked a bit about
the shelving that you want. Now let’s take a
couple of seconds and think about that
other ubiquitous item, in terms of storing books,
and that is the bookend. And you see all
kinds of bookends. You can get your general, just
every day workhorse bookend. OK. Like here, you can get
the little wire ones that hook onto your
shelving and attack you whenever you try to move them. Or maybe they don’t attack
you, but believe me, they attack me whenever
I try to move them. We want to think about our
bookends for a little bit. And so there are a couple
of types of bookends. And the type that you really
want, ideally, in your library, is what we call a
non-knifing bookend. And basically,
what that means, is it’s got these little flanges
that have been folded over at the edges, so they’re not
perfectly straight like this. And what they prevent
happening is something like what’s in the middle here. Depending on how tightly
packed your shelves are, or how observant
your patrons are, you can have trouble
with people just sticking a book back
on a shelf and having it go into the bookend. I would also recommend
speaking with other people in your institution. I worked somewhere that– they
were, with all good intentions, trying to do the
best that they could. But they were using the large,
skinny bookends in the middle of the sections of the folios. And when I started working
at this institution I didn’t know they were there. And so you would go to
put a book away, and not knowing that that bookend
was just hiding in there, because there wasn’t any way
to know where the bookend was lying in wait, we had a lot
of books damaged this way. And this was in a
special collections. So we had to have a bit of
a discussion about why that wasn’t a good idea,
even though in theory it should have worked. But we can also get
the same problem with these hanging
wire ones of having the book go into the back lobe. But I have found
also, that they really aren’t all that supportive
because the book on the end isn’t necessarily
always going to be just the right height for the books. And so you can get them
where the little wire is just at the top of a book,
and then all the books slide out underneath it. So no wire ones. Think about your good
traditional bookends. The best would be to get
the ones that won’t knife. But if what you have
are these, that’s fine. You work with what you’ve got. If you’ve got the wire
ones, start a campaign to get them changed out because
they’re attack bookends. They attack the
books and the people. They’re just mean. You can tell I’ve been
traumatized by wire bookends. We also want to think about,
of course, with our books, ideally shelving
them vertically. It’s how we always see them. That’s how they
want to be stored. However, we need to be thinking
about the sizes of books that we store together. It’s not always
possible to follow the rule of shelving
like sized volumes together because we know
publishers publish things in all sorts of sizes, and
they just don’t always conform. And they need to be cataloged,
and you’re not going to catalog your books by size. Not even Barnes and
Noble does that. We want to, though,
think about what happens when we have tall books
at the end of a shelf where we don’t have a tall bookend. Or what happens when
we have tall books next to a short book? And what happens is the
books start to get deformed. And you can see here, we’ve
got a spiral bound book here with a plastic spiral. So of course, the spiral
breaks because it’s what spiral bindings do. They’re another problem
child of the library world. If you have no spiral bound
volumes in your collection, you are so lucky. But you can see
that it’s broken. It’s starting to fall over. This is the slippery slope now. This book, the next time
it gets checked out, it’s just going to
get damaged more because it’s already started. And what you see here is it
hasn’t really started yet. But over time, the
two books either side of this little
black one are going to start to warp because
they’re just paper– they’re actually paperbacks. There’s no hard cover on those. They’re going to
start to deform. And it is just like your mother
told you when you were a kid, it will stick that way. Paper has a memory. It will be very difficult to
get these materials flat again. So I’m going to
backtrack for a second. Helen had a great question
about the plastic bookends with cork bottoms. They aren’t my favorite,
only because the cork bottoms are really thick in relation
to the other bookends. So they actually make the books
stand up taller where they are, which makes them more difficult
to slide under the books. And also, if the books sit
on those for a long time you can start to
see the indentations because they are so thick. However, they are nice in
one respect with those cork bottoms, they don’t
slide as much. There’s some good,
there’s some bad. But generally, for
strength and for thinness, I would stick with the metal
ones, if you have an option. They’re not bad, but
they’re not the best. They’re good. Spiral bindings– to
be perfectly honest, Jessica, spiral bindings
are real problems. If you know they are going
to be used– what I’ve done at institutions that
I’ve worked at in the past is I have, almost, without
fail, the minute they enter the library
I would send them to the library binder. It really wasn’t
all that expensive. We’d send them to
the library binder. Claudia, with the
suggestion of putting them in a four flap pamphlet
binder, is another good one. I found that if you
regularly send materials to the library binder
on a regular basis, it comes out in the end to be
about the same price, actually. Strangely enough. So for us to get the thick
pamphlet binders with the four flaps, actually, in the end,
was more expensive than sending them out to the library binder. I’m not quite sure how
that ever worked out, but we did the math. It was odd. So we just sent them all
to the library bindery. So a couple of options,
depending on how many you have. We really want to,
again, make sure that our books are
shelved up right. Please try not to store
your books on the foredge. As you can see, if we store
our books on our foredge we start to get this
problem happening. And what you’re seeing
here is the book– is the text block, which is
all of the pages on the inside, is starting to pull
away from the case. And once that starts to happen
you get a really weak point right in the joint
area which is the most vulnerable place on a book. So you really want
to try to avoid storing them on the foredge. I know the habit is to
store them on the foredge because the call
number is on the spine. But what you can do is to
work with the people who put the call number
labels on your book. And if the book is over a
certain height, and I’m sure all of you have a
good sense of what your height is for
your shelving– is if it is over that height,
to put the call number in the– OK. I have to visualize it now. In the upper right hand corner
of the front cover– that way, when it sits on
it spine, if it’s too tall to fit
on the shelf, you can still see the call number. Is it ideal? No. But we all have a
space crunch and have to fit in as many books
as we can, however we can. But we can at least try
to not be too damaging when we do that. We also want to try to make
sure our books don’t lean. You have bookends, use them. We like to make sure that we
avoid this sort of angling. Partly it’s angling
because– well, somebody then slipped down. And it’s just kind of a mess. As books lean on their
sides like that– again, that text block case interaction
is being really stressed. And if you’ve got
adhesive bound books, and it gets a little warm
in your storage area, again, it will stick that way. So if you’ve got a book that’s
being torqued, and twisted, and really bent out of
shape, it can stay that way if you leave it for too long. So make sure you
do have bookends about that people can use. Even if it is just in your
staff processing area, it’s still a good
habit to get into. Flat volumes. I have been seeing there’s
been a lot of discussion on really oversized volumes. Generally, for books that are
more than 18 inches tall– or let me try to remember,
29 centimeters I believe it is– 28, 29, somewhere in there. A lot of institutions
go to a folio. And then if they’re really
large they go to a flat folio. And that designation tends to
differ from library to library. Again, depending on
the type of shelving and the space that they have. So if you have
oversized volumes. It’s really best for
those to be stored flat. Because obviously,
they’re not going to fit up right on the shelf. And they may not even
fit on their spines. So what you want to be thinking
about doing, of course, is storing them flat. However, we are not going
to be storing them flat, as we are storing them
flat in this picture. Why? Well, there’s some
obvious reasons. One is, they’re
stacked way too high. Ideally, we’re only
going to stack, at most, three books high. If any of you have ever had to
go retrieve oversized volumes for a patron, you would
get to a stack like this, and you would want
to just go and beat somebody about the head and
shoulders with a blunt object because that’s a lot of work
to get to this bottom book– because it’s always
the bottom book. And is there somewhere
safe to stack them? Can you even move around? Think about having to get
access to those books. So first of all, three
high at the most. Secondly, you want to
make sure that the shelf depth is adequate. Not only the strength,
but also the depth. And you can see here
that this book, because of it’s size, the narrowness
of the shelf, and basically, changes in relative humidity,
it’s starting to curve. It’s starting to sag down. And guess what? It will stick that way. And if you do need to–
the beauty of only stacking them three high is
you don’t necessarily have to keep them in
call number order. So you can put the biggest book
on the bottom, not the biggest book on the top. And basically, go from largest
to smallest on your way up. And that is also
going to prevent any sort of potential
drooping, or sagging, or defamation that could
happen if small books are on the bottom and big
books are on the top. Please don’t try to stack
your oversized volumes on the tops of other volumes. It just ends bad. It ends badly, we can see that. OK. Is this ideal? No. But it’s getting closer. We at least have shelving
that’s of adequate size for the volumes. What we would do to make
this ideal is actually get just some more shelving. Just the shelves– because
then we can put the shelves– add another shelf in here. And we can start splitting
up some of these piles. Sometimes that’s
not always possible. But whenever you are
setting things up, we want to be thinking about
how safe is this for the books? And what is going to
happen if we have to access this book on the bottom? These are again, a lot of
large, awkward, heavy books that need to be moved somewhere. And so we just want to be
sure that we’re doing the best that we can for our books. None of us will ever
be in the position of having the ideal
storage for everything. But we do want to do the
best that we possibly can. OK. If you need to box your books,
this is how not to do it. If you need to box your
books for space saving– say you have a lot of small
books like this that you just don’t have the storage space
to put them on the shelf, all lined up, think about
stacking them vertically in the box, as if
you would on a shelf. Or in a flip top box like this. Or if you’ve got the
larger document boxes, then you want to be sure that
you think about storing them either spine down, or flat. And preferably wrapped
with a bit of tissue if you can, just to
keep them, essentially, from rubbing against
each other and having the red rot of one
volume come off onto the paper of
another volume. You can box them individually. We’ll get to that in a second. With Elizabeth’s question–
if you are moving books to a new location, I would
get the– essentially, the archive document boxes. They’re standard sizes. They have handles. And for the most part, you
can fill them with books and they will not be
too heavy to lift. OK. Three things that are
very important when you’re moving books, uniform
sizes, handles, and not too heavy to lift. And then lots of tissue paper
to pack in and around the books to make sure that they don’t
jostle around and start to rub on each other,
like we’re seeing here. Even worse, don’t just stick
them into plastic sleeves with random stickers
thrown in, and throw them willy, nilly in a box. Neat and tidy. Neat and tidy is going
to be good for any books. Jacquelyn, sorry. I will get back to you on
that question at the end. I may have you e-mail that to
me because I have to look up and make sure I’ve got the
right names of the adhesives now because they change a lot. OK. Ideally, this is how you
want your shelving to look, nice, and neat, and tidy. Can you tell I’m a Virgo? Very much in that neat,
tidy, organized realm. So protective enclosures. We’ve got a lot of
protective enclosures that we can use if our books
are damaged or fragile. I tend to prefer to recommend
protective enclosures over book repair, especially if you
have not had any training. If you want to do book repair,
please go get some training. Either some one on one from a
conservator or take a class. I know the Campbell Center
in Indiana teaches classes. The Northeast Document
Conservation Center and the Conservation Center
for Art and Historic Artifacts in Boston, and Philadelphia
respectively, teach workshops. You can also contact
me after the webinar, and I can give you some ideas
of where else you can go. Because there are other
people around that I know teach classes. So you can think about
doing just simple wrappers. These are just 20 point folder
stock, two pieces, double stick tape, and they do a great job. You can get– and this is what
they look like on the shelf. You can be as fancy or as simple
with your labels as you want. You can get
corrugated clam shell boxes made from many
different companies now. A lot of the library
binders are doing it. Archivalboxes.com makes them. Gaylord makes the them. University Products makes them. So there’s a lot of
places out there now that you can get the custom
clamshell boxes made out of the corrugated board. Again, they are a
really economical way to protect your older,
more fragile books. And you don’t have to have
all of your books tied up on the shelf, and
have them red rotting all over everything else. For dust jackets, I do like
the clear covers from Gaylord. I make sure when I’m looking
for those– I actually have a lot of the clear covers
on my own private collection. I look for the ones made out
of specifically, polyester. If they don’t tell me what
kind of plastic they’re using, I don’t like getting them. So I would definitely stick
with somebody like Gaylord because they are actually
going to tell you. And Brodart is, actually,
to be perfectly honest, the same company as Gaylord. So I would go with Gaylord. They tend to have the
archival end of things rather than Brodart
Art, which has a lot of the non-archival for
public libraries, who aren’t worried about making sure
that their materials last for the long term. OK. And one last word
on slip covers. If you are in an art library
or special collection, you will probably see a lot
of books coming in with slip covers or four flat portfolios. If you are a
non-circulating library, I would say keep the slip
covers, or the portfolios, with the book. Especially, because
you can be there, or somebody is there to monitor
how the patron is using it. So you can actually
give the patron the book without giving
them the slip case. If it’s a circulating
library, I tend not to keep the slip
covers with the books. In large part, because
it’s really likely the slip cover won’t
come back with the book because the person will take
the book out of the slip cover. The slip cover will
get put somewhere. They’ll lose it. They won’t remember to
bring it back with the book. They’ll bring it
back later, and then how do you know what
book it goes to? It just becomes a mess. But you again, want to be
really careful with slipcovers. Because like those bookends
that could knife a book, it’s really easy to put
a book into a slip cover, but actually catch one of
the sides of that slip cover into the text of the book. So you really want to be
careful with slip covers. I tend not to keep them
if they’re circulating. It’s just the way it goes. Oh, Lynn. You’ve got some
books donated that were wrapped in plastic wrap
to protect the books from bugs. Hmm. Most of the time when
I see books coming wrapped in plastic wrap, it’s
because the books themselves have bugs. I would get the
plastic wrap off ASAP. And get the books somewhere
that you can monitor them, because the plastic
wrap is also going to hold in a lot of moisture. And so get the plastic wrap off,
and check the books for mold, more importantly. And then check them for insects. And I would do this in
a location that’s away from your normal collection. Because if they do
have mold or pests, you really don’t want it coming
into your regular collection. Because then you just have
a much larger problem. Custom phase boxes
have gotten expense– the corrugated boxes, Claudia,
are much, much cheaper, and they are custom
built. So what you do is you just send
them your dimensions, and they send you a flat
piece of cardboard that’s cut and scored, and you
fold it up like a pizza box, and there you have it. The corrugated boxes are
generally for a standard octavo sized book. Depending on how thick, can run
anywhere from about $7 to $11. And for larger books,
anywhere from say, $15 to $25. But in the grand
scheme of things that’s much less expensive than
dense phase boxes or the cloth covered clamshell boxes. So Charlene has rare
books that are fragile and wants to use the Gaylord
acid free corrugated board trays. I’m guessing you mean
either the magazine holders or the trays that are
built for high density storage? I would try to do a search
to see how much the custom corrugated clamshell boxes
are going to be in comparison. Because it may be that they’re
not that much more expensive, especially because you’re
in Syracuse and Gaylord is right there. Your shipping is not
going to be that much. And Archivalboxes.com,
the company that really started it all,
is in Hammondsport, just down on Keuka Lake. I would try to avoid
the corrugated trays, just because they’re not
custom fit to the book. And so you would still
have a lot of potential for flopping around. So I would do some
comparison shopping and see, but I wouldn’t really
recommend the trays as a substitute for
a clamshell box. So Allie, you can box
really any book that you like, depending on your budget. Most people just do
the fragile ones, or the ones that are
really red rotted that they don’t want making
a mess of everything. But you also want to
box books that actually are in really good shape. So if you have some design
bindings, or books with boss, the metal studs, and
whatnot, those you would also want to put–
even if they’re not fragile, you would want to
put into a box, essentially, to protect everything else
around them from that book itself. So we want to think a
little bit about what I like to call stacks maintenance. And this is basically
keeping house. OK. First of all, it’s an ongoing
process to protect the books. We want to make
sure that they’re tidy and upright, like we
were talking about last time. We want to make sure that we’re
clean, we’re free of dust. Please don’t let this be you. You don’t really want
to see your fingerprints in your books. That means you’ve got a problem. One, because it
doesn’t reflect well on your institution, but also
a heavy layer of dust on books will trap in moisture. And that increased moisture will
give the mold an opportunity to land, and then dust is
just like the Golden Corral Buffet for mold. It’s got everything in
there they want to eat. And they will just
devour the dust and then just cause a
much bigger problem. We want to think about, for
some of our oversized things, is wrapping them in paper,
and tying them with string, and stacking them
willy-nilly the best thing for the collection? Or do we want to maybe, write
an NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for small to
mid-size institutions, to be able to buy some
supplies to do a better job of storing our collections. And don’t forget,
everything I’ve been saying about books on
shelves goes for books on carts too. OK. Remember, carts need to go over
all sorts of bumps and whatnot. And you really don’t want the
books falling off the cart. Especially, you don’t want
the books falling off the cart while you’re trying to
get into the elevator, slip down that gap between
the floor and the elevator, so that it goes all the way down
to the bottom of the elevator shaft. Because trust me, you
don’t want to know what they look like when
they come up from there. I have seen them. You don’t want to know. We want to think about
care and handling. What can we do to
protect our books? Thing one, is to try to
minimize food and drink in both public areas, as
well as, in our work spaces. A colleague of mine, Beth
Doyle, who works at Duke, posted this picture
a few years ago. She’s the Conservator there. And somebody returned
a book where they used a banana as a bookmark. And this is what happened. So maybe some things won’t
be quite as dramatic. But pizza, ketchup
from a hamburger– we all have seen the damage done. So we want to try to
minimize food and drink. Because not only does
it damage the books, it attracts the mice,
it attracts the insects, and then again, we have a much
bigger problem to deal with. We want to make sure we’re doing
some sort of staff education, especially if you’re working
with a special collections or with fragile books. Even if you just train
your student staff, your volunteers,
your interns, how to take a book safely off the
shelf without damaging it, will go a long way. It just makes them a
little bit more aware about one small
topic, which makes them more aware about a lot
of other things as well, which can only
work in your favor. Please don’t use post-it
notes, staples, paper clips– you’ve all seen it. Please don’t use post-it notes. Post-it notes and Plasti-clips–
not the regular paper clips, but the plastic v-shaped paper
clips– two of my bugaboos. Please don’t use them. It will only end in tears,
and usually mine, not yours. Because I’m the one
that usually has to carefully take the
paper off the post-it note and fit it back into the hole. Usually ends in tears. And finally, please,
please, please, please, encourage people
to use note paper. Or if nothing else, pencil. Because how distracting is this? It’s an outreach and
education opportunity. So not just to your staff,
but to all of your patrons. Especially, for heaven
sakes, if you work at an academic institution. You run into a lot of
this and you really want to try to do some outreach
because it really will only be of benefit. So I want to open
it up to questions. And one of the things
I’m going to do is I’m also going
to, in the chat, give you my email
because I forgot to put it into the
PowerPoint presentation. Please, if you have any
questions after this, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am happy at any time to
answer any questions because I know I’ve thrown a lot
of information your way. And you’ve been
trying to listen to me and read the great comments. This is the problem of
being the presenter, I can’t read your comments. So I look forward to reading
them when this is all over. But if you have any questions
now, send them along. Jenny will make
sure they get to me. But if you get back
to your institution and you start noticing more
things, please, by all means, send me a question at any time. I’m happy to help. Well, I will give
folks– I’ll give you guys a couple
minutes to go ahead and type in any questions. Donia, you did an amazing
job of getting to questions throughout the presentation. You’ve got one right now
about teaching at the Campbell School. I’ve never done it. I’m in upstate New York, so
it’s a little bit far from me. But two colleagues
of mine, actually, have taught there, Jennifer
Hain Teper and Susan Russick. And if you can get a class
with either one of them, they are both fantastic as well. In lieu of plastic
paperclips, I would either go with the coated ones or
you can buy stainless steel. And if you get the
stainless steel paperclips they won’t rust either. They’re a little
bit more expensive, but they give you peace of mind. You can also get stainless
steel staples, by the way. So you can go about
things like that. What about magazines? Should they not be put
into protective plastic? I’m not sure what protective
plastic you’re talking about, Merle. If you could send
me a follow up. Do you mean the bags? Or do you mean the laminate
that you can put on top? So if you can get
back to me on that I will answer your question. Three ring binders. Three ring binders are tricky. First of all, check to make sure
that the notes aren’t sticking. What happens with three ring
a lot, is either the paper gets brittle and tears
out of the holes, or you get the polyvinyl
chloride covers reacting with the
print, and reactivating the fuser that’s in
there, and sticking the pages to the binder. If you don’t have any of
that going on, in many ways it’s best to just
leave things be without too much manipulation. If they do get a lot
of use, I would maybe recommend getting them bound. But before you do that,
get them digitized. So that you have that
opportunity to get them digitized before they get
bound and you have that access. Charlene, I think you left
out a bit of your question. Oh, whether a book
is rare– I bet. Really, the only way to know
is to start talking to people. And you’ve got a
great resource up at SU in Special Collections. Will LaMoy is the
Curator up there. And the Rare Books
and Manuscript Section of ALA– RBMS.info
is their website. And they have a pamphlet
that you can get on, is my book rare? And so I would go to
RBMS.info and somewhere on that page there will be
the pamphlet, is my book rare? And that will be able to give
you a good starting point. Merle– the bags. As long as you
make sure they are polypropylene, polyethylene,
or polyester your good. Just don’t store
them in a basement because the high
relative humidity could be damaging
because the plastic is going to hold that moisture in. But if it’s not in
a basement, you’ve got good air
circulation– as long as they’re polyethylene,
polypropylene, or polyester– never, never, never,
never, never polyvinyl chloride, no PVC. Or any other plastic that
you can actually smell. If you can smell your
plastic, it’s off gassing, and it’s probably, ultimately,
not off gassing anything good for your collections. So Amanda, has a historic house
of a lawyer with a library and the bookcases
with glass doors. You have a historic house. That probably
means it’s anywhere from 75 years or older. By this point in
time, my guess is whatever damage
will have been done, has been done for
the books in there. The only thing I
would do periodically, is just open the cases,
leave them air out for a day, or even just an hour,
and then close the glass again. That’s going to give
you air exchange. And it’s going to
let anything bad out. So just like keeping
good airflow for mold, get some good air
exchange in there. It’ll help you a lot. All right. Donia, that is all
the time that we have. No. That’s fine. I see a few questions coming in. But I’ll hold onto those
and I’ll send them your way. Yep. Sounds perfect. And let me just quickly say,
that our next webinar is Thursday, August 28. We’re doing a two part
integrated pest management. We’ve got an expert
bug guy with us, and we’re hoping you’ll
help us with sending in pictures of your bugs. Gross. But thank you all so much
for joining us today. A recording of this webinar
will be available shortly. And I’ll hold on to
some of these questions we weren’t able to get to and
post those up on the webinar. Donia, thank you. Thank you so much. This was wonderful. Well, thank you. And just to reiterate, somewhere
in that chat box was my e-mail. Please, if anything
comes up afterwards, don’t hesitate to contact me. All right. Thank you everyone. Have a fantastic afternoon.

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