Behind the scenes of library life: book covering

What happens to a book before it’s ready to go on the library shelves?  In some cases, it needs a bar code and usually a record needs to be added to the system.  And, all books, no matter where they come from, need to be covered.  I’m sure that every library has a different way of doing this, but here’s a look at how the Ellsworth Public Library covers hardcover books.

Earlier in the week, I began covering the new books that came in for The Reading Pros.  Here’s what the book looks like at the beginning of the process:

Step 1:  Add a spine label.  At EPL, the spine label includes the location (in this case, “jF” for juvenile fiction), the first three letters of the author’s last name (“Sel” for Selznick) and the date that the book was acquired (4/12).

Step 2:  Remove the dust jacket.  During this stage, we also stamp the library’s name and address in the back and place a sticker (with the same information) on the title page.

Usually the book without the jacket is nothing to write home about, but this book is special in all ways:

Step 3: Smooth out the jacket.  Run the jacket over the edge of the table to smooth out the creases:

Step 4:  Find a cover to fit the jacket.  Take the flat jacket and compare it to the covers to figure out which one fits the best.

Step 5:  Fit the jacket into the cover.  Stand the cover up and tap tap tap it on the counter to make sure that the top edge of the jacket lines up properly inside the cover.

Step 6:  After folding the bottom of the cover paper up and creasing it,  use a tool called a “bone folder” to crease the edge of the plastic.  This forms the bottom edge of the cover and helps the jacket stay in place.

Step 7:  Place the book back inside the cover and fold the inside flaps.  Make sure to open the book to check and see that it is facing the right way up!  Tape the covered jacket to the cover of the book to hold it in place.

Step 8:  Step back and admire your work- the finished book!




Filed under behind the scenes, library life

2 responses to “Behind the scenes of library life: book covering

  1. Muriel

    Where do you buy these plastic covers?

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