Preventive Preservation

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LEAFLET-Student Training-General

Preventive preservation is an integral component of the day to day operations of Memorial Library. All staff have the responsibility to ensure the longest possible useful lifespan of the entire collection. This is true for no other reason than to protect the institution's capital investment of those materials. If you have not had the opportunity to view the video "Murder in the Stacks", we recommend you take the time to do so. The video will demonstrate reshelving, removal of books, loading book carts, enforcement of food and drink policy and book inspection. Its call number is Z701.M87 1987. Listed below are additional helpful hints to be aware of while handling library materials:

1. Encourage good photocopying practices:

  • Never open a volume more than 180 degrees.
  • Do not exert pressure on the spine of the book.
  • Do not allow books to be left on top of photocopiers because they can be damaged by heat.
  • Tightly bound, fragile, and rare material should not be copied on a flat bed copier.
  • Some copying is better suited for copiers where the book is supported in a cradle at the angle of its opening. These copiers work well for tight volumes, or narrow margin books.

2. While working in a collection, (print or non-print), you may see library materials
in trouble. Please report the problem to your supervisor. Examples would include
insect or rodent infestations, overcrowdedness, and dampness.

3. Book repairs are done by trained staff and never should someone attempt a quick
fix with scotch tape. It might be necessary for a book that is in poor condition
continue to circulate now and go to mending later. Your supervisor will instruct
how to mark it on PALS.

4. Clean hands are essential. Allow hand lotions to dry thoroughly before touching

5. Carry only a few books at a time. Carts are available for library materials and they
vary in size.

6. Keep food and drink in proper locations. Protect books from food, drink, water
and dirt. If you bring food into the building, please do so discreetly. Snacks
should not be eaten in the work areas.

7. When transferring books, it might be necessary to grip books with two hands
rather than usings the pinch grip. This will prevent strain on your hands and
wrists which can happen while handling or shifting lots of books.

8. When using tattle tape in the spine, don't force it. It could break through the
bookcloth. Also, be sure to pull the tattle tape all the way to the middle of the
spine. If any is left out or exposed, it can easily cut someone.