​Preventive Preservation

General Preservation Information

-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 lifespan of the entire collection. This protects the institution’s investment of those materials.

-To better understand how to help with preventive preservations, we recommend viewing the video “Murder in the Stacks.”  This video will demonstrate reshelving, removal of books, loading book carts, enforcement of food and drink policy and book inspection.

Tips for Preventive Preservation:

  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 photocopier because they can be damaged by heat.
    • Tightly bound, fragile, and rare material should not be copied on a flatbed copier.
    • Some copying is better suited for copiers where the book is supported in a cradle at the angle of its opening. These copies work well for tight volumes, or narrow margin books.
  2. While working in a collection, you may see library materials in trouble. Please report any problems to library faculty or staff.  Examples would include insect or rodent infestations, over crowdedness, and dampness.
  3. Book repairs are done by trained staff and never should someone attempt a quick fix with scotch tape. It may be necessary for a book that is in poor condition to continue to circulate now and go to mending later. 
  4. Clean hands are essential. Allow hand lotion to dry thoroughly before touching materials.
  5. Carry only a few books at a time. Carts are available for library materials and they vary in size.
  6. 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 book work areas. Drinks should remain covered at all times.
  7. When transferring books, it might be necessary to grip the books with two hands rather than using 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 book cloth. 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.