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Re: Poly vs. Jacket

Art Rubino wrote about book jacket covers on library books and anticipated
provoking animosity.  As a librarian in a small public library I will
respond, though not with animosity, just a different perspective.

We use book jackets and yes, we attach them to the book.  We use acid free
strips that we get from Kapco.  They are about 3/8" wide and 2.5" long.
They are stuck down on the front cover under the jacket, folded over the
top, and then on the inside to the flap.  So there are four bits of tape on
the covers underneath the book jacket and it is true that if we have to
remove them it sometimes damages the cover, though if the jacket stays on it
doesn't show.

Does this destroy the value of the book?  Of course that depends on how you
define value.  If you look at the book as a pristine object like a piece of
art to be kept in immaculate condition, of course it is damaging.  But in a
heavily used circulating collection, the value of the book is in its use for
conveying ideas to lots of people.  If we didn't attach the book jacket it
would be lost the first time the book went out.  When someone picked up the
book, it would slip out of the jacket and fall on the floor, causing even
more damage.

There is room for both approaches.  Libraries have come a long way in the
last twenty years in how they handle and maintain books and I'll not deny
that some destructive things have been done to some books.  As awareness
increases, it is getting better, but library books will never be treated
with the kinds of hands-off reverence of a private collector  (except maybe
rare book collections).  That's okay, it is not their purpose.

I agree with Art that tape is terrible stuff and am doing my bit to tell the
world.  But I will confess publicly that I have used it, for example on a
picture book where the bottom of every page is torn and the condition just
doesn't warrant lovingly applied Japanese tissue and wheat paste because the
book is going to be totally worn out in another year anyway.  I'm just
trying to get twenty more circulations out of it before it is replaced.  It
is a different world than a rare book dealer.  We want our books to be used
and know that even with respectful handling and good care on our part, most
of them are going to get either loved to death or outdated and replaced.  I
don't think of that as destroying books, I think of that as using them.

Joyce Jenkins
Petersburg Public Library, Alaska
Here's what Art said:

The following is my opinion on this issue,
and will raise a lot of animosity. Sorry about this.

Plastic adhesives on a book are terrible.
Tape is terrible stuff on a book or book jacket.
Gluing the jacket to the book destroys the books value.
Brodart and Gaylord dust jacket covers are fine.
They should never need to be taped down to the book at all.
The Brodart end flaps can be taped to each other, but not to
the book.
In fact, taping to the book leaves ugly tape marks on the
paste downs
and destroys the value of the book.
With all due respect, much as I appreciate my local library,
libraries & librarians destroy more new books than any other
group on earth.
That is the reason that most ex lib books have almost no
Librarians destroy the value of the book in the name of
theft protection.
They often used to tear out the title page as well.
Time to wake up please. There are better ways to do this.
Art Rubino

Brodart covers and other supplies for conservation of books
are available from:

Art Rubino & Co.
Numismatic & Philatelic Arts of Santa Fe
Antiquarian Book Sellers
P.O. Box 9712
Santa Fe, NM 87504  USA
Phone  1 + 505 982 8792
Fax      1 + 505 982 0291
Mobile  1 + 505 690 2899
Email  Art_Rubino@msn.com
We are always interested in buying Collectable &
fine used Numismatic & Philatelic books.

In The United Kingdom
Art Rubino & Co.
Numismatic & Philatelic Arts of Santa Fe
Antiquarian Booksellers
233 Wandsworth Bridge Road
London SW6 2TU
Phone  44 20 7731 2919
Fax      44 20 7610 6930
Mobile  44 77 68 301 890
E-mail  Art_Rubino@msn.com

Please specify the catalogues you want sent by Email.
Catalogues Available By Email [Win 95/Word 6.0 Format]
unless you specify  other formats.
*Numismatic Books: Ancient - Medieval ~ & Modern Era ~ 90 +
90 pages
*Numismatic Sales Catalogues & Fixed Price Lists
*Treasure [Numismatic] Books
*Philatelic Books
*Ancient & Modern History, Military History & Archaeology
*Collectibles. Porcelain, antiques, collectible artifacts.
*Modern First Editions & Literature  [Under construction]
*Magic & Divination, Handwriting, Palmistry, Dreams
*Coin Preservation Supplies & Mahogany Display Trays for

-----Original Message-----
From: Joyce Jenkins <joycej@CI.PETERSBURG.AK.US>
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000 0:42 AM
Subject: Re: Poly vs. Jacket

>By poly-adhesive do you mean something that is laminated to
the book jacket?
>Or to the covers of the book itself?
>I worked a few years ago in a library in Norway and all
their books came
>from Bibliotekcentral with the jackets laminated town with
this plastic
>adhesive stuff that was folded over to the inside and stuck
down to the
>endsheets.  Horrors!  The stuff was awful.  It cracked.  It
didn't allow the
>book to open properly.  When the hinge failed or other
repairs were needed
>you couldn't get the stuff off to work on the book.  It was
not flexible.
>It was not acidfree adhesive and thus over time ate the
paper of the
>bookjackets... uh, can you tell I didn't like them?
>What we use here at the small public library I work at in
Alaska is a book
>jacket cover that is a clear plastic outer layer with a
paper backing.  It
>wraps around the jacket and is taped on but the tape
doesn't contact the
>jacket at all.  In the US they are available from library
vendors like
>Brodart or Gaylord.  (I loaned my catalog to the high
school, but can get an
>address if you need it.)
>We attach them with strips we get from Kapco.  They also
make far and away
>the best laminated covers for paperbacks that I have ever
seen, all with
>acidfree adhesives.  They also have book jackets and label
protectors and
>other stuff.  "Ingenious glutinosity," says their slogan!
I don't have
>stock in them, but sometimes I wish I did.  We think their
stuff is the
>cat's meow.  Their toll free number is 800-791-8965 or
local 330-678-1626.
>Did this answer your question?
>Joyce Jenkins
>Petersburg Public Library
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