Preservation Policies and Procedures
Library Binding Policy for the University of Virginia Library
- General Guidelines
- Materials Ineligible for Library Binding
- Quick Guide: Who routes what – and when?
The University Library, which includes Alderman, Clemons, Brown Science and Engineering, Fiske-Kimball Fine Arts, Music, Physics, Biology-Psychology, Astronomy, Math, and Chemistry libraries as well as the Small Special Collection Library, bind approximately 11,000 items within the library’s collection annually. As preservation is primarily a collections’ maintenance responsibility, funding for binding activities is allocated by the Collections Group.
The University of Virginia Library outsources some library binding services.
To guide the activities of those who select, route, and/or prepare materials for binding, this policy clearly defines what materials are eligible for library binding, who should select and route those materials, and the binding schedule of materials per format.
The Preservation Unit does not offer binding or conservation services for Library patrons, staff, students, or the public. Printing and Copy Services offers binding of dissertations, theses, and personal items and sends these materials to the same library bindery under contract with the University Library.
- Binding is a preventive option that protects susceptible materials (softbound materials in particular) from shelf and use damage. It is also a treatment option for most damaged materials published after 1950. Whenever practical, materials that need binding, rebinding, or conservation treatment will be routed to Preservation for evaluation and treatment.
- Binding policy and schedules will not interfere with Express / Rush orders and will not impede patron access to materials. Patrons may recall materials from binding workflows at any time. Recalled materials in the binding workflow will be pulled until the item has been sent to the bindery in Petersburg, Virginia. There is a two week turnaround time for materials once they are shipped offsite to the bindery; rush ordering may be utilized to meet user needs as necessary and feasible.
- Uncataloged materials will not be bound.
- Staff with collection management responsibility (collection selectors as well as reference, reserves, and binding preparation staff) may, at their discretion, exclude any individual title from binding.
- materials published before 1950 (the textblock is usually too brittle or the bibliographic value of the binding should be preserved)
- materials in poor condition that cannot withstand library binding (brittle materials; some clay-coated paper, etc.)
- materials that will lose information as a result of library binding
- any rare or Special Collections materials
- ephemeral materials—any items that will be regularly replaced or superceded by a more current, complete, or timely version
|Material Type||Location||Guidelines||Who routes for binding?||When?||Exceptions|
|Periodicals / serials
Staff with binding preparation duties will gather periodicals into the “bindable units” as described in the title’s holdings record.
All periodical titles to be retained permanently will be bound. Titles not permanently retained will not be bound, including titles regularly superseded and withdrawn.
|Staff with binding preparation duties||Frequency of binding is described in title’s holdings record||None|
Thin (< ¼”) or unbound materials
|All softbound materials that are:
and are not Express / Rush materials should be routed to Preservation for pamphlet or library binding at the time of cataloging. This includes unbound or softbound theses and dissertations (including undergraduate theses).
Retrospective binding: Circulation staff should monitor circulation returns for thin, unbound materials
Upon return from circulation
Softbound materials (paperbacks) will go to the shelf unbound.
Circ staff will select and route paperbacks from circulation returns to Preservation for binding. Use a visible cue to select paperbacks:
“After signs of use, before evidence of damage.”
|Circ staff||Upon return from circulation||
All softbound reference materials that are not Express / Rush should be routed to Preservation for binding at the time of cataloging.
Retrospective binding: library staff should monitor reference collections to select and route high-use materials for library binding
Collection selectors / branch staff
Upon return from circulation
|Reserves||Every effort should be made to route softbound reserves materials to Preservation for binding in the intersession before the item goes on reserve||Branch / reserves staff||Intersession period||
|Music Scores||TBD||Music Library staff||TBD||
|Hardbound monographs||All - stacks||Hardbound monographs (published after 1950) should be routed to Preservation for binding when returned from circulation with obvious signs of damage||Circ staff / collection selectors||Upon return from circulation||
Dissertations and theses from U.Va. students should be bound by Printing and Copy Services prior to acquisition by the Library.
Unbound dissertations and theses should be routed to Preservation for binding at the time of cataloging.
|If you are:||Look for:||And route it to Preservation when?||Exceptions|
Upon return from circulation
|Binding Preparation staff||
||Binding frequency is described in title’s holdings record||None|
||Before placed on reserve or during the intersession period||
||Before placed in reference collection or during the intersession period||
Approved by the Preservation Advisory Group (Holly Robertson, Melinda Baumann, Bradley Daigle, Heidi Dodson, Warner Granade, and Mary Prendergast), December 2006
The Binding Unit of the George E. Smathers Library at the University of Florida maintains a “Glossary of Binding Terms” related to library binding.
- The process of securing the leaves, sections, or issues of a publication so as to keep them in proper order and to protect them; also, the finished work produced by this process
- Commercial (library) binding:
- Library binding refers to the hardcover binding of serials and paperback books intended for the rigors of library use. Though many publishers have started to provide "library binding" editions, many libraries elect to purchase paperbacks and have them rebound as hardcover books, resulting in longer life for the material.
- Specific treatments undertaken on items in the library collection to prevent deterioration, provide usability, and improve the physical condition of those items, and, as far as possible, sustain their survival in their original form.
- A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). They may have flexible sewn spines which allow the book to lie flat on a surface when opened, although most modern commercial hardcover books have glued spines.
- A non-serial work, complete in one part or set, usually on a narrowly defined single topic. For example, a book or pamphlet (as opposed to a periodical).
- Paperbacks include cheap mass market paperbacks, in the standard "pocketbook" format generally printed on newsprint or other low quality paper, which will discolor and disintegrate over a period of decades, and more expensive trade paperbacks in larger formats printed on better quality paper, sometimes acid-free paper.
- A serial (journal, magazine) that is published at regular intervals, is numbered, contains separate articles, and has no pre-determined end date. Does not include newspapers or conference proceedings.
- Policies and activities—such as proper storage, environmental control, and collection maintenance—associated with maintaining library materials either in their original form or another format. Preservation is a broader term than conservation.
- Any publication issued in successive parts, usually (though not always) at regular intervals, and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials include: periodicals, newspapers, magazines, annuals, yearbooks, journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions, and numbered monographic series.