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Bindery complaints Patricia Palmer 21 Apr 1992 21:06 UTC

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
This is in response to Marcie Kingsley's query on public
relations for binding operations.   I'd like to pass on
information about a procedure we began using here at VCU in
January and has been effective in addressing patron complaints.
(I must add, however, that it has not quelled them completely!)

We developed an "At-Bindery" form which patrons could use to
request items with "At-Bindery" status in NOTIS.  This form was
sent to all service desk staff along with a shipment schedule.
When a patron approaches the desk wanting information about, say,
a particular journal charged to the bindery, the service desk
staff verifies that it is in fact charged to the bindery, and can
offer information on where it is in the process.  We charge all
items going out in the same shipment on the same charge date so
they can consult their shipment schedule, locate the charge date
indicated on NOTIS, and tell the patron that the item is (a) in
preparation for the bindery and still retrieveable, (b) out at
the bindery and expected back on X date, or (c) returned from the
bindery on X date and in process since after it is returned, it
takes a few days to put in date due slips and property stamps
before they go to the shelf.

In all three cases, the "At-Bindery" form can benefit the patron.
If the item has not yet been sent to the bindery, the Binding
Supervisor can locate the item, copy the pages requested, and
send them to the Circulation desk where the patron is notified by
phone.  At this time, we do not charge for photocopying.  If the
item is out at the bindery, or has just returned, it can be
rushed through and sent to the Circulation desk.

Here is what the forms looked like at first (compressed and de-
stylized for uploading into e-mail):

                              VOLUME AT BINDERY
                                REQUEST FORM

TO:    Binding Supervisor, Preservation Section

FROM:  Dept. _______________________________
       Name  _______________________________

FOR:   Name  _______________________________
       Dept. _______________________________
       Phone _______________________________


TITLE: ________________________________________________________
VOLUME/ISSUE/YR:  ________________________ PAGES: _____________
DATE NEEDED: _____________________________

COMMENTS: ______________________________________________________


TITLE: _________________________________________________________
AUTHOR: ________________________________________________________
CALL NUMBER: ____________________________
DATE NEEDED: ____________________________

COMMENTS: _______________________________________________________


OCR NUMBER: _________________________________________
Charge date on NOTIS:  ______________________________

    Preservation:   Searched ______________________
                          Located ______________________
                                                      Sent _____________________

This form has since been incorporated into an existing form used
by Circulation staff for placing holds and initiating searches
for items not found on the shelf.  Circulation staff can now use
the same form to place a hold on the item and route to Binding
for specific pages needed.

Regarding your binding budget issue, I think one way to explain
the cost of binding is to describe how much better binding
addresses the use of the serials.  Better adhesives and sewing
methods, as well as smaller binding units, make photocopying
easier.  Split binding units also mean that when a volume is
being used, other parts of the volume are available for use.  The
point is that you must make a case that the binding style you use
benefits your patrons.

Binding is the best preventive measure for the library's assets.
You will spend less on rebinding monographs and replacing lost
issues and pages if you bind before making items available to the
public.  An economy binding for paperbacks at first is cheaper in
the long run than rebinding.  Erich Kesse at the Univ. of
Florida-Gainesville did a study on deferred binding that may be
helpful to your case. His e-mail address is ERIKESS@NERVM.BITNET.
This was posted on the Conservation Distribution List last year.
I have a copy I can send if you can't reach him.

I figured that you spent $6.43 per volume last year on binding.
($63,000/9800 vols.)  Last year we spent a dollar less per volume
on binding, which may be the result of our binder being 30 miles
away, competitive negotiating, or something else I can't think of
right now.   There are alternatives to commercial binding you may
want to explore, but will require more in-house staff and
training and result in a lesser product.

Patricia Palmer
Head, Preservation Services
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA