As books are published to be sold in store, read once and shelved, their covers are not designed for the repetitive borrowing they are subjected to in a library environment.
The level of processing applied to a book depends on two major factors:
- The nature of the book user
- The type of book
Some users are rougher than others when handling books so for these books, a greater amount of processing is required. For example, the children’s section of a Public Library and most Primary Schools need to spend more money per book on processing materials than the main library or a Secondary School.
The type of book also determines the type and amount of processing required.
Most fiction books are purchased in paperback, which are highly susceptible to wear and tear yet need to last many years. Highly flexible spines and hinges need reinforcing and covers need to be protected from friction caused by shelving against other books. Duraseal®, Bookguard 80/100 and PROtec adhesive book covering is recommended for the covers of most paperbacks, however if the book is highly circulated such as popular authors or is of high value such as reference, Bookguard 250 or Lyfguards offer even greater protection given their increased thickness. Due to their high use many libraries purchase picture books in hardback format. For hardback books it is recommended that spines and hinges be reinforced using a polypropylene tape, given the strain the heavy cover places on the hinge, and covered with a non-adhesive film such as Hansa or Pro-clear which is more suitable than adhesive film given the rigid spine.
We would recommend the absolute minimum amount of processing required for all books is to tape the spine, hinge and corners. Just remember the more processing applied the greater the lifespan of the book.