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Bindery Complaints (MARCIE KINGSLEY) Marcia Tuttle 16 Apr 1992 01:19 UTC

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Date:         Wed, 15 Apr 1992 11:16:56 -0400
From:         kingsley@GW.WMICH.EDU
Subject:      Bindery complaints

For those of you who supervise bindery operations: please
share with me and the list any successful public relations tips
for handling or avoiding complaints from patrons.  In our serials/
acquisitions/periodical reference/bindery department, the only
area about which I really hear complaints from patrons and
a few other librarians is binding.  Often the complaints con-
tradict each other.  We bind periodicals too quickly OR we don't
bind them frequently enough! We bind issues too thick OR we bind
them too thin (and doesn't that waste money..). Sometimes we
hear comments that periodicals are out of the building soooo
long for binding; since our turnaround time on most items is
only two weeks, plus a couple of days processing before ship-
ment, I have a hard time taking the patron's point of view on
this one.  I offer my sympathy, and say we get it done as
quickly as possible.  Do other libraries do it faster somehow?

And the library administration insists that we just spend too
much money on binding. The administration is probably the
easiest to educate.  I am preparing a memo explaining that
journals grow and even split in two, that our library has
added a couple of hundred subscriptions over the last 2 years,
that as more monographs are published only in paperback the
books need to be re-bound when falling apart. [We are in the
middle of a 3-year contract with a commercial binder. Last
year we spent $ 63,000 to bind about 9,000 volumes including
800 monographs.  We do LOTS of spine lettering, at the urg-
ing of public services staff, which adds to the cost. But
ARE we spending too much?? We have 4300 per. subscriptions.]

But what kinds of responses do you give to patrons and col-
leagues?  Will people listen to boring details about why
some things are bound thick or thin, about margin depth,
about why some titles are on a fast-track for binding and
others are bound less frequently?  Do you have any pro-
active measures to suggest?

Marcie Kingsley
Head, Acquisitions and Serials
Western Michigan University