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Subject: Cleaning books

Cleaning books

From: Wendy Walters <wendy_walters.unilib>
Date: Friday, October 28, 1994
    **** Moderator's comments:   For more on related topics, see
    Patricia Palmer's "Stacks Management:  Shelf Maintenance
    Procedures", available in CoOL. (Browse by Subject/Miscellaneous)

In response to Laura Smith's first question on cleaning books.

At Melbourne University Library we have developed a procedure for
vacuuming books which works well.

General Collections.

    Remove books from shelf onto a trolley. Vacuum with a small round
    cleaner brush commencing on the top edge of each individual book.
    Work from the spine to the fore edge of each book. Never vacuum across
    the bindings as this will cause damage. Vacuum the shelf; wipe with
    a damp cloth if necessary.

Special Collections.

    All items should be handled with great care. Work under the direct
    supervision on a person responsible for the collection.

Each item should be cleaned separately. The following is generally a two
person operation. Grasp the fully closed book firmly (this will prevent
dust from entering the book) use a soft brush (an artist's brush which
has been tested on the wrist - it should never feel abrasive) or a soft
cloth to direct dust into the head of the vacuum cleaner (neither the
vacuum cleaner nor its brush should ever touch the volume). The head of
the cleaner can be covered with cheese cloth to prevent damage and loss
of larger bits of binding; we find this is not necessary if staff are
well trained. Vacuum the shelf and surrounding area. Wipe with a
slightly damp cloth if necessary.

Wendy Walters
Processing Officer for the Standing Committee on the Preservation of
Library Material

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:31
                 Distributed: Monday, October 31, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-31-004
Received on Friday, 28 October, 1994

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