On Friday, September 24, my colleague Rachel Hoff and I taught a Basic Book Repair Workshop at the Dare County Library through NCPC. Rachel and I have been teaching workshops together for over five years and we often find that our teaching styles and knowledge work well together as we present our material. Rachel also helped us present similar material during the recent Preserving Forsyth’s Past grant.
I had a lengthy handout for each of the twelve participants, who came from as far away as Appalachian State in Boone, but also from Duke and libraries in the surrounding area. The information in the handouts was a combination of the history of the book and paper-making, preservation terms and concepts, disaster preparedness and instructional sheets on the techniques I would be presenting.
I began by discussing the value of simply re-housing paper materials in such items as: archival boxes, envelopes and sleeves. An institution without preservation or repair staff can protect their materials easily by simply putting them inside a box or other protective enclosure. I followed this with a progressively complex range of repairs: tipping in loose pages, paper tears, repairing loose hinges with Japanese paper, consolidating paperback books, tightening hinges and spine replacement. We also held a question and answer session. Each class usually comes with unique problems and this provided the attendees with the opportunity to ask these questions.
This was a good class and provided the attendees the chance to learn techniques, tools, suppliers and best practices for repairs. This knowledge will help them as they return to their institution and incorporate repair into their work-flow.