Taking Stock

*      As we near the end of summer, it seemed like a good idea to sit back a bit and take stock – and to take a fresh look at our individual assessment habits.  We have made many changes over the summer and we have reviewed many, many books – 2,900 since June 1.  Thank you!



*      Some things to think about or review:

*      We have added several accepted terms.  Please take a few minutes to review those terms and think a bit about how you are applying them. 

·        If you have suggestions for new ones, better ones, new definitions – let me know.

·        If you think any of these should be elevated to standard terms (added to the list of possible answers) – let me know.

·        If you become “stuck” in one of the “other-specify boxes and don’t know how to fix it, let Christine know (need barcode and other info).

·        Sometimes more than one accepted term applies to a question.  When we start the next collection (Art), we will add more spaces for “other – specify.”


*      Please take some time to review the detailed instructions for completing the form – even if you feel really comfortable with what you are doing.  Several instructions have changed and we have added to the definitions/terms.  I recommend you go through a few books as if you were doing this for the first time.  We look at a lot of detail and it is possible to get in a rut and/or let some things slide (especially after looking at your 13th Science journal in a row). 

The following suggestions are based on what we are seeing when we spot check completed items.


·        For instance – many of the books from offsite are dirty (just look at your fingers after you’ve done a few).  Yet few of them have been marked as “dirty.” 


·        For instance – Don’t forget to add up your level 1 & 2 repairs – if the total is 3 (or more), it’s a referral.


·        For instance – if there is more than one foldout, are you checking the condition of all of them?  If the book has been rebound, was a “free” edge bound in?


·        For instance – Illustrations that are glued into the book along a single strip of stubbing.  These aren’t foldouts, but they are attachments (photos or illustrations-glued or taped).  They can pose problems for rebinding and are more likely to become detached.


·        For instance – warped cover boards and/or buckled text block can be a symptom of poor shelving.


·        For instance – Size and shape


¨      Size and shape are considerations for the long-term survival of a book.  Especially in a library environment.  Think about the over-all size of the item.  Is it too wide or too tall to be shelved without damage in the long run?  Or is it too small to survive among the big guys?  Consider marking these as examples of poor original design, particularly when they have warped boards or a buckled text block.  You might recommend that small books have special boxes made for them (add a note to comments).


¨      For instance – many of the offsite Science and the Reference books are too heavy for their casing.  We will find this condition in other collections – especially Art.  You usually catch this one when it has caused shaken or damaged hinges, broken text blocks, crumpled pages, and so on. 

Ø      Even if there is no damage, this is something we need to know – if it’s too heavy, it’s just a matter of time (and gravity). 

§         As a rule - if you don’t want to carry it in your backpack, if you find it easier to handle with two hands:  it is probably too heavy for its casing.  If you are so strong that heavy books never pose a problem – ask someone.

§         Thickness or over-all dimensions aren’t the only factors – some paper is heavier than other paper.  However, if a book is 4 or more inches wide – it’s too heavy for its casing.

§         If the text block has “buckled,” that probably means the text block is too heavy (although – it could be a sign of shelving problems – or both problems).


Ø      If a book is too heavy, please check either “poor original design” or “previous preservation action.”  If we rebound it and it’s too heavy (especially if it is a serial/journal that we could have bound in 2 parts) then check “previous preservation action.”  Please add a note to comments: “too heavy for casing.”  We will probably add “Too heavy/thick for casing” to the form (at least for the next collection).


Ø      If it is too thick, consider adding comment:   “s/b split in two parts.”  


Ø      When the text block is heavy, it is better to bind it with the bottom edge “flush” with the bottom edge of the casing (most books are bound with about ¼ inch extra casing on all sides).  You can also suggest that a heavy book “s/b bound flush.”




  Please don’t chew on the pH pens.  I’ve been informed that it is yucky and gross.  If this practice helps you do a better job, feel free to claim one of the pens as your very own.



    Please remember to sign up for computer time and try to stick to your chosen time/computer.  If necessary, you can always complete paper survey forms (also yucky – but not so gross) if you need to be here outside your planned schedule.  And don’t forget – we have a second pc hiding behind Carl’s office.  (Owen isn't always there)  We will have a regular desk there now, so it will be more comfortable and provides a place to store your stuff.




(I know, I know – it isn’t over – yet)