Professional Development

During March 2009...

Leather Bookbinding Finale

Saturday, March 28, 2009 12:58 pm

I was able to complete two re-backs from start to finish this week. The two leather spines had dried over night. On the final morning, I still needed to paste down the inside joints or hinge of the books. I had lifted the paper a day earlier. so I tore strips of Japanese paper which I glued underneath the paste down on the covers. I overlapped this paper onto the text block. When both joints were set, we cut a piece of card with a notch in it and used this to hold the boards open while the joints dried.

joints drying

When both joints were repaired with Japanese paper(Okawara), a piece of card held the boards open to dry.

Drying Joints

A finishing touch was to tool the spine. A heated metal tool is rocked across the spine to incise a “blind stamped” line which makes the spine lok more finished.

Blind stamping on the spine

My books are now done! It feels really good to have slogged through all these steps and have a good final result that will last for years to come.

Finished books

Preparing the Leather – Day 4

Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:23 pm

We’re almost home-honest! This stuff takes time folks- I mean it is important, one of a kind, historical material and must be treated like your pet bunny rabbit when you were 6. The first order of business today was to sew the headbands. To do this, two colors of silk thread are sewn around a core of twine. This stabilizes the the text block to which it is sewn, and forms a very attractive counterpoint to the text.

Sewing headbands

When the sewing is completed, the ends of the cord are trimmed and the headband is glued down. A piece of Japanese paper covers the sewing.

Finished headband

I cut pieces of leather to match the tone and the size of each book it will be used to repair. Using leather dye and cotton balls, the leather is dyed to match the existing color of the book boards and allowed to dry.

Leather Dyeing

Using a very sharp “skiving knife”-the edges of the pieces of leather are pared down very thin. This is hard, very hard-no amount of holding you mouth in a certain way will help. Practice, practice, practice!

Paring Leather

The leather spine piece is then put on the book and reinforced by string, which reinforces the raised bands.

Pressed book drying

After a half hour, the ends are turned in and the book is left to dry under a weight.

Leather spine drying under a weight

Leather Bookbinding – Getting Close on Day 3

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 9:58 pm

Fraying the ends of the cords

This morning, we used a small tool to fray the ends of the cords we glued to the spines of our books yesterday. The tool is a small wooden peg with 3 sewing needles attached which separates the strands of the cords. These frayed ends will be glued to the boards of the book later.

Making paste

Then, we mixed paste to use for the days work.

Glued down frayed cords to boards

The ends of the frayed cords were then glued down onto both book boards. I slid a piece of release paper on top of it and pressed the books for about 20 minutes.

Lifting leather from the cover

I used my lifting knife to lift the leather off the cover boards of the book.

Applying Japanese paper and pressing

All the books were then placed in a press. The spaces between the cords were lined with two layers of Japanese paper and allowed to dry.

Attaching a leather lining

A leather lining was made and pasted to the spine. This leather piece was pressed onto the spine and the space around the raised bands on the spine reinforced with string tied to the press.

Tomorrow-rebacking the spine with new leather.

Carpenter Library visit

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:07 am

Cristina Yu made arrangements for Ellen Makaravage, Patty Strickland, and me to visit the Carpenter Library on Monday, March 23. The three of us had never been to Carpenter, so the purpose of the visit was to see the library and learn more about how they operate.

We entered the hospital at the door closest to the public parking garage, then began the long walk to the far corner of the hospital. When we finally made it there, we saw that the front door has been set up for card access-staff and students only. The public is allowed access, but only by prior appointment or by buzzing the front desk via intercom. We learned later that the library has had some problems with a few people essentially setting up camp in the library, so they instituted the security not to limit access to library materials, but to help with crowd control.

We started with a tour of the library’s public areas. Carpenter has a computer lab, open to all patrons (students and public alike). They have several study rooms, color-coded (so you can use the “blue study room” or the “yellow study room”). We saw the History of Medicine room, and got a peek at the 5 levels of stacks, mostly bound journals. Carpenter is also in the process of combining their reference and circulation desks into a single service point.

After touring the public areas, we went through the keypadded door into the staff offices. Then we (well, Cristina and Ellen mostly) had a conversation with Hilary Doane about Carpenter’s ILL operation. Carpenter is a net lender, and they often provide resources to community medical providers. For interlibrary borrowing, they charge their patrons a set fee (though I forget the amount). They also provide document delivery, including (for a fee) to outside users-community clinics, lawyers, businesses.

When we were finished, Patty impressed us all with her sense of direction as she led the way, without any hesitation, back to the parking lot!

Leather Workshop – Day 2

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 10:43 pm

Glueing out the spine

I’ve lifted the spine of my leather books and cleaned off all the residue. Next, the spine is glued out and either cords or tapes are glued onto the spine as sewing structures. This allows you to re-sew the parts of the book that are weak or broken-and let’s face it, after 300 years, you’d be a little worn too!

Books with sewn cords

Sewing is done inside the signature sof the book, and when you reach each cord or tape, you exit the interior of the book and sew out and around the tape or cord.

Cords sewn onto the spine
Next, paper tears and loose signatures are also re-attached to the text block. Tomorrow, we’ll fray the ends of the cords and attach them to the boards with glue. This will make a very strong bond which will hold the boards onto the book. All of the books I brought to the workshop had loose boards-which means, the were not attached to the book at all. When I’m done, they’ll not only be well bonded to the book, they’ll look good too. Stay tuned!

Leather Bookbinding, day the first

Monday, March 23, 2009 10:46 pm

A removed spine

Wilkes-Barre(bear), PA…not your idea of a fun spot, eh?Mine either.This is a place that did have a thriving economy, but that was when coal was king.It’s located on the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania, and now it is definitely a city struggling to make it.I drove 8 hours up I-81 to spend aweek learning leather book conservation from Don Rash, a seasonedbookbinder, calligrapher and letterpress printer who studied with Fritz and Trudi Eberhardt, two well respected binders.Don owns 3 houses, all adjacent to each other: one is Don’s home, one is his workshop and the third is used for student housing.I have the luxury of coming to Don’s school- The School of Formal Bookbinding-on a slow week-so it’s just me and one other student.

We began the first day by discussing each book we’d brought and how we would approach the repair.I brought nine books from Special Collections dating from the 17th-19th centuries.Immediately. I realized I needed a tool which I didn’t have-a lifting knife.Don had a new one which he sold me.The lifting knife is used to “lift” the old leather spine from the book.Before we tackled lifting spines, we learned to sharpen our leather skiving knife and my new lifting knife on wet Japanese stones while Bill’s numerous cats watched.

Books with clean spines

First all the books were ganged together in a large “lying press” with wooden boards separating them.We then took each book and lifted the spines of each one-trying to keep the fragile leather in-tact if possible- if not possible, we tried to save the labels.This required running the lifting knife along the outer edges of the spine and gently encouraging it to release itself.Unless you were really lucky, you just ended up with leather crumbs.When most of the leather was removed, we applied a poultice (glop) of corn starch paste and let it sit for 15 minutes.Then, we used a bone folder to get the remaining leather bits off the spine.Finally, we let the spines dry then removed them from the lying press. Tomorrow…paper repairs, sewing and headbands.

Ellen M. @ VA Beach – Day 2

Friday, March 20, 2009 12:21 pm

The second day at the 2009 OCLC ILLiad International Conference began with an update from OCLC about matters affecting ILL providers.Katie Birch, the Portfolio Director of Delivery Services and John Trares, a Product Manager were the spokespersons.They began with an explanation of the “perfect storm” that led to WorldCat being taken offline for a day in February.This unprecedented event was precipitated by an attempted authentication system upgrade.Advance warning was given that another attempt will be made later this year.We were also told that the ILL Policies Directory will have a new interface this summer and were given an update on WorldCat Direct.WorldCat Direct is a service that provides home delivery for ILL patrons with an option to purchase the book.This program is in conjunction with Better World Books, an internet used book seller and is currently being tested through a limited number of libraries.At ZSR ILL we have used the service (without home delivery) to borrow two books and exercised the option to purchase one of those books.A new resource sharing website has been established at resourcesharing.webjunction.orgto better enable collaboration in the ILL community.It is expected that this site will eventually replace the ILLiad Listserv.

The elective session of the day was Customer Service, LibQUAL & Resource Sharing presented by Doug Hasty of Florida International University.The speaker reminded us that there are customer service opportunities that come with: every complaint, every angry patron, every confused patron, every webpage, every mistake…., you get the idea.One concept/slogan I particularly noted was:When your customers have changed your policy, the policy has changed, you just need to catch up.I’ve been thinking about how that relates to what I may view as customers’ misunderstandings may actually be the way a procedure should be done (at least as far as what the customer sees)I get requests through ILL that should actually be directed to Document Delivery.We usually send it on to Document Delivery with an e-mail that we are doing so.Perhaps we should skip the e-mail, the faculty member just wants the book.(this can’t be done with articles because they need to be informed that the department will be charge).Food for thought.

The last speaker was Genie Powell of Atlas Systems, Inc. with a short preview of coming events.Next year’s ILLiad International Conference with be in the same place on March 31 and April 1 &2.She also announced that documentation forthe ILLiad software can now be found on a new wiki at

The weather on Friday was much cooler and windier but very sunny.All in all, it was not quite the weather some of the visitors from the north had hoped for but we did get a glimmer of it.There will be a box of salt water taffy in the Staff Lounge on Monday for all to enjoy (Heather, I didn’t forget!)

2009 UNC TLT online conference

Friday, March 20, 2009 10:02 am

2009 UNC TLT online conference

On Tuesday, March 17, I participated in the University of North Carolina’s 10th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference. Due to all of the travel restrictions and other budget constraints facing the UNC system, the TLTC Board decided to suspend the registration fee and to host the 2009 conference online. I decided to attend some of the online sessions.

During the Opening Welcome Session, Frank Prochaska, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, noted that this was the first online UNC TLT conference. This conference provided an excellent opportunity for participants to exchange information about the effective use of technology for teaching and learning, and it was a great opportunity to discover some of the innovative approaches that instructors are using in their classes.

The plenary speaker was Bob King who has done a lot of online teaching and is known as “Digital Bob.” King has presented for nine years at the UNC TLT conference, and he was very pleased to be delivering the keynote address. His presentation was entitled “Ready, Steady, and Slightly Rowdy: Rolling into Web 3.0 Katamari-Style.” King says that with Web 3.0 we will need a new attitude. In fact, most of his presentation focused on “attitude.” He sees attitude as a very important part of learning. Attitude is either a “deal maker” or a “deal breaker.” For King, “Web 3.0 signifies a change in the way humans learn from a didactic model to a stochastic model and educators will need a new attitude and metaphors to enact the change.” King encouraged us “elders” to learn from the younger generation by talking with them, finding out what they are interested in, and designing assignments that will engage them. He also encouraged us elders to “get an online life!”

On Wednesday morning, I attended another session on “Student Video Presentations as an Alternative to In-Class Student Presentations.” The presenters (Michelle Harrolle and Charlie Morris) were from North Carolina State University, and they discussed a class project involving a sport finance class. There were 40 students in the class, and the students created a 7-10 minute video presentation. Harrolle explained why she felt that web video was needed in the classroom. She noted that student presentations are a “painful process” for the instructor and that students are “forced to endure” boring presentations. When students develop video presentations, Harrolle believes that students are more engaged through participatory learning and that this type of assignment stimulates creativity. The presenters mentioned that with any technology there will be troubleshooting issues and as Harrolle said: “If technology fails, the overall experience for the students is diminished.” This session was very entertaining with good doses of humor to keep the participants engaged.

The last session that I attend on Thursday morning focused on how librarians at North Carolina State University are using Elluminate to expand their library instructional program. Elluminate offers real-time online learning and collaboration. The presenters were Emily Mazure, Kim Duckett, and Karen Ciccone, and they explained how they were using Elluminate for library instruction. For example: they used the Whiteboard to teach concepts; Application sharing to show search demos; polling to receive feedback; and the chat box for students to communicate. They decided to target Paper Science graduate students in the College of Natural Resources, and they offered several workshops. Unfortunately, only one person attended one session. After this, they decided to create a Pilot Project and offer several workshops via Elluminate. They also marketed the online library workshops by contacting faculty to help promote the workshops. The Pilot Project was more successful, because they had 32 participants who attended five workshops. In a survey, they found that 90% of the students enjoyed using Elluminate.If you want to see a listing of their online workshops, go to:

All in all, this was a great conference! I enjoyed using Elluminate to participate in the conference, and I think that it has a lot of potential for educators to transform the teaching and learning experience.– Bobbie Collins

Ellen M. @ VA Beach

Thursday, March 19, 2009 9:50 pm

Yesterday I arrived in Virginia Beach, VA in anticipation of the 2009 ILLiad International Conference scheduled to begin bright and early on Thursday morning.A Pre-Conference Social was held last evening which provided a variety of mingling opportunities.Attendees could play tennis and go bowling on a Nintendo Wii game system or release your inner rock star on the X-Box game, Rock Band.If the virtual world wasn’t your style there was the futuristic opportunity to steer a Segway Personal Transporter.Of course, you could also just choose to talk to people.I tried a little of everything.

This morning’s Keynote Session involved a “Fireside Chat” format between Genie Powell of Atlas Systems, Cyril Oberlander of SUNY Geneseo and Anne Beaubien from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!).The topic was “The Future of Resource Sharing.” The consensus seemed to be that libraries should explore ways of establishing a seamless (to the patron) process of obtaining materials whether they are from our collection or through ILL, much like an Amazon search that ultimately arrives at your own front door.Offering cost alternatives to the patron such as free (but it will take at least X days) or cost (and it will only take Y days) was suggested to let the patron influence the delivery times libraries can offer. Given the ease of availability through internet sites, libraries may also need to explore whether purchasing a used book is more cost effective than borrowing through ILL.The current economic times were seen as an opportunity to redefine how we provide resources that are not in our collection including opportunities for more interlibrary collaboration and more patron initiated services.

The next session was an introduction to the next release of ILLiad, ILLiad 8.Slides were shown of the new interface which is reminiscent of the Microsoft 2007 products.The format will utilize “ribbons” to correspond to a selected function tab.The audience response to the changes seemed favorable.It is expected that the new version will be rolled out this summer.

I then attended a Copyright Round Table hosted by the Copyright Clearance Center.Most of the session was spent defining the “rule of 5″ from the Section 108(g)(2) of the U.S. Copyright Act.The number of questions clearly indicated a need for better clarification of the CONTU guidelines established to help comply with the rule. Most of the topics on the planned agenda were never presented.

After lunch and a sunny stroll down the Boardwalk it was back to an other session.This one was titled, “Finding the Hard to Find and Keeping Track of It.” The speaker was Tina Baich from IUPUI who advocated for social bookmarking services to organize links to resource sites. (such as delicious)These sites offer alternative borrowing options apart from WorldCat. Sometimes the holding are listed in WorldCat but the library does not lend via OCLC.I expect this to be the most practically applicable session I attended.

The last session was probably the most fun which is a good thing as it kept me from the usual afternoon slump.Two ILL staff members from the University of California-Fullerton offered suggestions for “Hiring, Training, Retaining and Motivating Student Assistants.” Their concept was to instill a sense of community in the ILL office as well as the library.They give t-shirts to their employees with ILL slogans such as “Licensed to ILL” and “You are Not A Loan…But We Are.” They have the students do reverse Trick or Treat where they pass out candy on Halloween so they get to meet everyone in the library.They have a bulletin board for post cards from anyone who goes on vacation. “Getting to know you” questions are posed to new students and the answers are posted in the ILL office for the other students to read.In the summer they hold Olympic Games with contests that combine fun and training such as a packaging contest and book truck naming (reported to reduce lost book trucks).The session attendees got to practice some of the get acquainted questions on one another as well as playing OCLC Jeopardy.Among the Jeopardy questions, no one in the room could tell them what ILLiad stood for.

There’s nothing like a conference like this to help you realize that you don’t know it all even if you’ve done it for years.I’m looking forward to two more sessions tomorrow morning.Now that it’s raining here and the temperature has dropped drastically, I’m calling it a night.

MB @LAUNC-CH March 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:20 am

Erik Mitchell, Kevin Gilbertson, Cristina Yu, Mary Scanlon, Ellen Daugman, Steve Kelley and I all attended the LAUNC-CH conference at Chapel Hill on March 9, 2009.
I attended the Next Generation Library Systems session from 12:45 to 2:15. That presentation, not surprisingly, focused on the
OLE Project, (Jean Ferguson and John Little were presenters) and had a presentation about Endeca, with Derek Rodriguez.

John Little, From Duke, began to discuss OLE (which stands for Open Library Environment) by asking the conference attendees the following questions to frame the logic for the development of OLE, and to wake us up since his presentation was right after lunch:

Do you believe that business processes at libraries are more similar than they are different?

Do you agree that in 10 years anything that is not digital will be invisible?

Do you agree that in 5 years your consortial arrangements will be just as important as work at your home institution?

Do you believe that any backlog longer than 6 months is irrelevant?

Do you believe that in 5 years all library work will be done on the network?

Among the attendees, the first question was resoundingly agreed to. The second, third and fourth questions much less so. The last question was pretty much 50/50 with many people responding to the “I don’t know” third option. He challenged librarians who believed his questions were false. One challenge to the “backlog” question came from a librarian who worked in special collections who maintained that when handling rare and special collections, no backlog is irrelevant. Another librarian maintained that “to the serious researcher, whether or not something is digitized is not important, so nothing is invisible” and John conceded that point.

He then moved onto an overview of the OLE project and described how the SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) would define the project’s development.The first part of the project is to be completed by July, per the terms of the grant from the Mellon Foundation.The second phase of the project, the “writing” the software phase, will then presumably be funded, and completed over the next few years.

The next speaker was Derek Rodriguez from TRLN, Triangle Research Library Network whose job is to assess metadata fitness for next generation library systems.He spoke about and then demonstrated Endeca.Endeca is a discovery and request layer that works with an ILS to allow a user to search and request from several library systems at one time.The request, if not being fulfilled through the user’s home library automatically creates an ILL request.It allows for easy sharing of materials among all of the libraries of the TRLN which includes UNC, Duke, NC State, and NCCU.

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