Thanks for the responses! 


On Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 10:25 AM, Susan J Wishnetsky <> wrote:

Thermobinding and velobinding machines are still available.  From looking at the options online) some of the machines are amazingly cheap, but it’s not clear to me what they’re able to handle.  If the covers are cut so they are no wider than the pages, they probably could be stored spine-up (and depending on the kind of covers you get, labeling on the spines might still be possible.  Bar codes should still be just as accessible as in bound volumes.


In my library, way back in the day, we “temp-bound” (incomplete volumes only) with no machine but a hand drill.  We bought covers and used ordinary string to tie the issues together.  We did have a small heating unit to melt wax for the ends of the string, to make it easier to thread it through the holes.


Two advantages of these binding options would be that all pages are immediately accessible (without taking off shrink wrap or removing issues from a box), and that the issues remain in order (as long as the binding lasts).


But how they’d compare overall, in cost and efficiency and quality, I cannot say.


Another idea occurs to me: going forward, don’t bind at all.  Consider each issue an item, with its own barcode, permanently.  The automated retrieval mechanism should be able to handle it (although the volume of items would vastly increase), and patrons would get less material that they don’t want.  There’s surely some downside to that – preservation-wise, perhaps – but I’m not knowledgeable enough to comment on that.


Susan Wishnetsky

Galter Health Sciences Library

Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

303 East Chicago Avenue

Chicago, Illinois  60611

Phone: 312-503-9351  | FAX 312-503-2678




From: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [mailto:SERIALST@LISTSERV.NASIG.ORG] On Behalf Of Tina Herman Buck
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2018 4:20 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Binding alternatives for journals in an automated retrieval center


Hello all,


We're looking at alternatives to binding periodical back issues.  High prices increases from our bindery are the cause. I'm looking for input from people who have implemented solutions in similar circumstances.


The two options we're currently considering are shrink-wrapping or phase-boxes (though likely not custom made ones). The method needs to hold them securely "spine up" in a bin in an automated retrieval center (i.e. high density storage) and needs to have a barcode in an accessible location. Finally, obviously, it needs to have a considerably lower cost than traditional binding. 


Delivery will be mediated by staff, so no need to worry about patrons slashing open shrink-wrapped bundles. 


Does anyone have experience in a similar scenario? Input and materials suggestions are welcome.


Thank you.





Tina Herman Buck

Electronic Resources Librarian

University of Central Florida Libraries

P.O. Box 162666

Orlando, FL 32816-2666

Phone: 407-823-0448

Fax: 407-823-6289




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