Professional Development

During October 2007...

Harcourt Bindery

Monday, October 29, 2007 3:58 pm

Harcourt Bindery

Sam Ellenport, proprietor of the Harcourt Bindery gave me a tour of their shop. Harcourt has been a commercial fine bindery since 1905 in several locations in Boston.

They do it all- I saw a little gold tooling work by a NBSS graduate while on tour.

North Bennett Street School

Monday, October 29, 2007 3:58 pm

North Bennett Street School

The entrance to NBSS- a craft school which has been teaching for 100 years in Boston’s north end-just 2 doors down from the Old North Church.

Sewing frame

Monday, October 29, 2007 3:57 pm

Sewing frame

A wooden sewing frame was used to sew the signatures of the book onto alum-tawed leather thongs.

Linen spine wrap

Monday, October 29, 2007 3:56 pm

Linen spine wrap

A piece of airplane linen was placed over the spine to strengthen it.

Small holes were cut out for the sewing stations and leather thongs.

Sewing the headbands

Monday, October 29, 2007 3:54 pm

Sewing the headbands

A leather thong is sewn over as a headband at the head and tail of the book. Linen thread is looped around the leather thong in a pattern which produces the headband,

The template for the cover laid over a sheet of vellum

Monday, October 29, 2007 3:53 pm

The template for the cover laid over a sheet of vellum

Because vellum is expensive, we made a template of our cover from 10 point board.

Threading leather thongs through vellum

Monday, October 29, 2007 3:50 pm

Threading leather thongs through vellum

Connecting the vellum cover with the text block: the extra length of each thong is threaded through punched holes in the vellum cover. These thongs are then re-threaded inside the cover to secure them in place.  This binding style was used during the 14th century, but is also similar to the Nag Hammadi bindings discovered in 1945 and dating from 390 AD.

North Bennett Street School – Day 1

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:20 pm

Limp Vellum Bookbinding

The Limp (meaning the vellum is not stretched over a rigid board) Vellum Bookbinding course began with a discussion of this 14th century binding style. There is almost no adhesive used in this binding, since there is lots of sewing to hold it together. The binding is made up of a group of signatures which are sewn onto leather thongs using a herringbone stitch. Headbands are also sewn by hand and a cover is cut, folded and punched from vellum.

During the morning break, we got a tour through the NBSS furniture making program. These students were making some amazing and beautiful pieces of furniture.

After the day was over, I trekked the Freedom Trail and went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

North Bennett Street School

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:11 pm

On Tuesday, October 23, I journeyed to Boston to attend a workshop held at the venerable North Bennett Street School. The school was originally founded as a trade school in 1885 by The Boston Atheneum. NBSS now has full-time, 2 year programs in furniture, preservation carpentry, jewelry, violin-making, piano technology, locksmithing, and bookbinding. NBSS also has a workshop program which I am attending. My workshop is called Limp Vellum Bookbinding and ia a 3-day workshop taught by NBSS alumnus Stacie Dolin.

Prior to starting the workshop, I arranged a visit to the Harcourt Bindery with proprietor Sam Ellenport. Sam was kind enough to give me a tour of the Harcourt Bindery, which recently merged with Acme Bookbinding – another long time New England bindery. Harcourt Bindery has been a commercial bindery since 1900. I was able to see every aspect of their binding operation and witnessed a NBSS grad doing gold tooling on some volumes bound in leather.  After the tour, Sam drove me through the Beacon Hill area of Boston and gave me some tips on restaurants and sights to see.

In the evening, I rode the “T” to Harvard Square and was able to hear Ken Burns at the First Parish Church Meetinghouse discuss his film, “The War”.

Cristina@NCLA

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 2:16 pm

Carolyn and I presented a poster session titled “Utilizing ILL Deflection to Improve Workflow” on Thursday, October 18. Many fellow librarians stopped by and inquired about the new OCLC ILL deflection feature.

As an ILL lender, we receive requests for all types of materials. Popular movies and TV series, such as 24 and Sex and the City are among the most requested titles. Due to the high demand in house, these requests are routinely canceled.

I approached Carolyn after I learned the details for the ILL deflection at the ILLiad conference this March. I wanted to deflect some selected titles, so the ILL staff doesn’t have to spend time to say “no” to requests, such as “Yellow Rolls-Royce”, which only four libraries show holding in WorldCat.

I wasn’t familiar with the web Connextion for Cataloging and I didn’t understand some of the fields in the MARC record. Carolyn was very helpful, and together we came up with a procedure to deflect titles we will not loan through ILL.

With ILL deflection, we are able to deflect those titles, so we will no longer receive those requests. They will automatically move down to the next lender. This lowers the turnaround time and borrowers can deliver materials to their patrons faster. We, on the other hand can spend more time on other requests, which improves our workflow.

The ILL department works closely with the Cataloging department, because ILL staff is probably one of the heaviest users of the catalog. We often bring questionable cataloging records to the Cataloging staff for updates. So, it is particularly rewarding to collaborate with Carolyn on this presentation. We had fun putting it together.


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