Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Repair Roadshow: Port Orford, Oregon

"Basic Book Repair for Libraries" took the show on the road last week from Portland State University Library to the Port Orford Public Library. It's been a few years since Kris Kern and I roamed the state with a car full of mending tools, polyvinyl acetate, acid-free paper, and Kennett bookcloth. The workshop has been going steady at both the OLA pre-conference in the spring and the Support Staff Division conference in the summer, and both Kris and I have been teaching in different library education programs. But it had been a while since the book repair caravan rolled out of the Willamette Valley!

Librarians and staff from Curry and Coos Counties, from Brookings to Coos Bay, from Gold Beach to Agness, met in Port Orford on June 19 for a day of book conservation, starting with the basics of bookbinding adhesive and the properties of paper, and working our way up to a full spine repair and the wonderful "one on, two off" hollow tube that rejoins text blocks to their cases.

I always learn something about book care myself in every class. Coming from a library that does not generally preserve dust jackets for hardcovers, I'll mention the great difference dust jackets, protected by mylar covers, can make to the life of a well-read hardcover. While my big job at the repair table is spine replacement of hardcovers, most of the books folks brought along were still intact on the outside, thanks to their dust jackets. The trouble was split bindings and pages falling out! Most of the time, bindings of adhesive-bound hardcovers bust because the adhesive holding them together just wasn't so good in the first place, but some strain is also placed on bindings from dust jackets that are attached very tightly to their covers. A little "ease" is recommended when taping jackets on, to ease stress on the spine!

Many thanks to all who came out to spend the day with me fixing books on the southern coast! And especial thanks to the directors of the Curry and the Port Orford Public Libraries who invited me to travel south, made my journey possible, and gave the workshop a perfect space, and to Rea Andrew with the Support Staff Division who put together our toolkits.

Happy Summer Solstice, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the workshop at the SSD Conference at Newport in about a month. More time by the sea? Yes please!

Coquille Point, Bandon, Oregon. June 19, 2015

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