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[BKARTS] secret book repairs - response

First, I am a librarian, who among other things, does book repair at the
University of Wisconsin Law Library.

You should ask first. It is basic common courtesy.

There seems to be misconceptions about who works in libraries.  Not
everyone is a librarian.  We have students at the desk.  It is difficult
to get 20 of them to do everything the way we would like it done.  Maybe
one of them would set aside a book they thought needed repair.  So yes,
a lot of books needing repair get reshelved. Then there are
administrators who may or may not be librarians and their decisions may
reflect outside factors including budget constraints, departmental and
university pressures.  If you need space for current state statutes and
the previous editions are online and you have sent information to
second-hand jobbers and everyone of them has enough outdated, zero-value
statues, they very well may go in the dumpster.  It is not so different
than people cleaning out their basements and dumping their moldy books
at the desk,  expecting a tax break for something that may amount to a
health concern.

And as with all professions, librarians specialize in areas, if not by
design, then by default.  Many librarians do not have extensive
knowledge of rare books. And as with other job titles, there are various
levels of committment among individuals. To make generalizations about
an entire profession reflects on the individual making the generalizations.

And yes, there is always a backlog in the book repair room because our
mission is provide service to patrons.  I can't prioritize repairing a
book over a person waiting at the desk. Most books needing repair are
free to go out and circulate until work has actually begun on them.

Mary Jo Koranda
Circulation Librarian
University of Wisconsin Law Library
608 262 2213

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