425 Library, MC-522
1408 West Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
Oak St. Library Facility
OSLF, 2nd Floor
809 South Oak Street
Mail Code 527
Champaign, IL 61820
Bindery Preparations completes preparation for the commercial binding of serials and paperbacks,
commercial rebinding of damaged volumes, and creation by the commercial bindery of custom
preservation enclosures. The unit generally handles nearly 40,000 items annually. Bindery
Preparations is also responsible for tracking binding invoices, compiling monthly statistics about
items sent and errors, and implementing the binding contract. Once materials are returned from the
bindery, Bindery Preparations personnel perform a quality control inspection of all bound materials
and affix necessary property stamps, location stamps, and anti-theft devices.
Library Binding Guidelines
In an effort to develop and support a more effective library binding program, the following
guidelines apply to the entire University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library system.
Coordinated through the Bindery Preparations Unit, library binding activities are completed by a
commercial bindery according to the currently approved industry standards. The Preservation and
Conservation Units will coordinate repair or special handling of items. In some cases, this may
include referral for commercial binding or in-house treatment as appropriate. Neither the Bindery
Preparations Unit, nor Preservation and Conservation complete personal binding for faculty, staff,
students, or the public.
Library binding is the primary preservation method chosen for almost 40,000 items within the
library's collections annually. As preservation is primarily a collections' maintenance issue,
binding costs are charged to a portion of the Collections Budget. Instructions for preparing
materials for the Bindery Preparations Unit are provided by the unit.
The Bindery Preparations Unit will complete library binding according to the following
guidelines. Departmental libraries are expected to understand and follow these guidelines:
Analytics - New and Retrospective Binding
- In general, analytics should not be bound together.
- If cataloged separately, analytics should be treated as monographs and bound under those
- Analytics will not be bound as sets if cataloged separately.
- For analytics to be bound as a series that have not been bound in five years, it is the sending
library's responsibility to provide the Bindery Preparations staff with buckram colors and any
other applicable information to have it processed properly. If no color is provided, black buckram
will be chosen.
- If no information is provided permitting the Bindery Preparations staff to located the
appropriate bindery records for items to be bound as a series, reasonable effort will be made to
locate the data through searching records and calling. If the data is not provided after a
reasonable time, the items will be returned to the library with a note indicating the reason for
- Facsimile volumes produced through brittle books processing will be library bound.
- Items sent to Preservation and Conservation for repair that are deemed too damaged for in-house
repair will be library bound when possible.
Serials - New and Retrospective Binding
- New Serials/Periodicals - New serial/periodical volumes will be bound as complete volumes are
prepared and sent in accordance with the individual library's serial binding quotas. These quota
levels only include newly received serials/periodicals. As a general rule:
- All periodical titles to be retained permanently will be bound.
- Titles not permanently retained will not be bound, including titles regularly superseded and
- Multiple copies of periodical titles will be bound only if the titles are retained permanently
at separate locations.
- It is up to the collection manager's discretion if the following items are to be library bound:
- Those for which there is a comparable electronic version (as determined by the collection
manager) to which the library and its patrons have ready access.
- Newspapers that are permanently retained will only be bound if they are not supplanted by other
formats or will not be regularly shifted to remote storage.
- Retrospective binding or boxing projects - Retrospective boxing or binding projects for large
runs of serial titles or unbound collections will be pursued as staff time and budgets permit.
Arrangements for such projects should be made through the Preservation Librarian.
- If no information is provided permitting the Bindery Preparations staff to locate the
appropriate bindery records for titles that libraries indicate have been previously bound,
reasonable effort will be made to locate the data through searching records and contacting the
sending library. If the data is not provided after a reasonable time, the items will be returned to
the library unbound with a note indicating the reason for return.
Monographs - Softbound
- Softbound Books - Unless inappropriate due to physical format, size, damage, or other criteria,
the default binding style will always be digicover binding. Bindery Preparations Unit personnel
will make these decisions.
- Over/Undersize Items - New, softbound monographs greater that 10.5" tall or two inches thick or
7.5" wide (wide enough to extend beyond the edge of a standard bookshelf) shall be bound
un-circulated. Similarly, undersized (< 6" tall) paperback items shall be bound un-circulated.
They will be routed directly to Bindery Preparations after Cataloging and Marking.
- Standard Items - New, softbound monographs shall be bound un-circulated at the collection
manager's discretion and as the Head of Preservation determines the binding budget will support.
Collection managers are strongly encouraged to avoid (a) blanket binding for their subject area and
(b) immediately binding the following:
- Paperbacks published on acid-free paper.
- Paperbacks with a sewn through the fold construction.
- Paperbacks with durable cardstock covers.
- All unbound, undamaged paperbacks will be bound after the third circulation. They shall be sent
directly to the Bindery Preparations Unit upon discharge. Preparation of a Monograph binding
streamer is only required for titles in non-Western languages. It is recommended that an OPAC
printout for the title accompany these items.
- Softbound books for reserve holdings or anticipating projected heavy use shall be bound before
circulation at the collection manager's discretion.
- The default binding for softbound items with explicit covers shall be a hard binding with the
covers in place. This decision offers the borrower a certain amount of privacy while maintaining
the cover art.
- Damaged softbound books (e.g., pages falling out) must be sent by libraries through the usual
Preservation and Conservation workflow with a green streamer.
- New Items with Accompanying Materials - New materials that come with maps, booklets, or other
inserts that cannot support the items shall be sent through the normal Preservation and
Conservation workflow directly from Cataloging. If necessary, they will be bound with pockets or
bindings appropriate to the material.
- Undamaged Items - Items that are undamaged shall not be bound. These include the following:
- Spiral bound items,
- Materials in binders that are low-use materials, and
- Other functional, undamaged collection materials.
- Any pamphlet 3/8" or less in thickness shall be routed through the normal Preservation and
Conservation workflow and pamphlet bound by the Conservation Department.
- Most items falling into this category should be pamphlet bound upon receipt.
- Retrospective pamphlet binding projects should be discussed with the Head of Conservation (or
designate) before being sent for treatment.
There are certain materials for which library binding is not appropriate. These include:
- Archival Materials
- Brittle Materials
- Brittle materials sent through the Preservation and Conservation workflow shall be routed
through the Brittle Books Unit. Subject librarians shall be asked to choose between a series of
options including: tying, boxing, scanning and reprinting, filming, or withdrawing and replacing
with a pre-existing surrogate. When acceptable surrogates exist, this will be the preferred
- Ephemeral Items - Ephemeral items include those that will generally be replaced or superceded
by a more current, complete, or timely version of the original item. Examples of this category
- Any items that will be regularly replaced by a cumulative volume or superceded and
- Publication notices, etc...
- Rare and Semi-rare Items -
- Those with exceptional cover illustrations shall be boxed. Items in this category should be
sent through the Preservation and Conservation workflow.
- Vertical Files
Bindery Preparations Documentation