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Subject: Paperback binding service

Paperback binding service

From: Carol Eyler <eyler_ce>
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 1994
Roxanna Herrick <roxanna-herrick [at] library__wustl__edu> writes:

>I recently received a flyer and sample bound book from a company called
>Midwest Library Service.

I, too, received a sample bound book from Midwest Library Service
recently.  Their product is what I would call a "deluxe" version of
vendor pre-binding of paperbacks, a service that is offered by most
library book vendors.

Most vendor pre-binds are economy-style library binding--either
double-fan adhesive bound, oversewn, or side-sewn (if very thin); with
Type-II non-woven covering material or a Mylar-covered case made from
the paperback cover over light-weight boards.  Economy binding is
suitable for small light-weight volumes.  Most vendor pre-binding is in
the $4-6 range.  Some vendors have their own binderies; others have
pre-binding done by an LBI-member binder or other third-party binder.

Midwest's product is a little different.  The volume I received was
double-fan adhesive bound, but had a buckram covered case, with front
and back paperback covers mounted.  According to our Midwest rep, the
pricing is calculated as the paperback list price, less 5%, plus $6,75
for binding.  He also says that all volumes are DFA and none are
oversewn.  I asked specifically about this, since I had seen oversewn
samples in 1991 when Midwest first introduced this product.

Technically, this product *does* meet the LBI Standard (8th ed, 1986)
and its May 1993 amendments.  However, the volume I received had two
serious structural problems: poor joint adhesion, and vague, indistinct
joints.  Inside the front and back of the volume, the endpaper/spine
lining combo was not adhered to the boards/joints for more than 5/8" up
and down the whole length of the spine.  I spoke with our Midwest rep
about this, and at his request returned the volume to them on 6 Sept
with a letter explaining the problem.

Although vendor pre-binding has workflow & budget benefits for some
libraries, I am wary of it from a preservation perspective.  It treats
all paperbacks the same, regardless of their original book structure,
size, weight, expected use.  At Mercer, we have discontinued all vendor
pre-binding, preferring instead to bind only when use warrants it, and
to select a binding style appropriate for the physical and usage needs
of each volume.

The quality of the vendor pre-binding that I have seen varies widely.
Some is excellent, and some is not-so-hot.  I feel strongly that
libraries that use vendor pre-binding services should subject the bound
volumes to the same kind of scrutiny and quality inspection that they
use for volumes from their regular library binder, and give the vendor
prompt feedback if problems are found.

Carol Eyler
Mercer University Main Library
Macon, GA
Fax: 912-752-2111

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:21
               Distributed: Thursday, September 22, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-21-003
Received on Wednesday, 21 September, 1994

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