Re: Is Binding necessary? David Foreman 31 Aug 1998 23:00 UTC

Dear Noraishah

I work at the University of Waikato Library in Hamilton, New Zealand, where
the policy is to bind only about the 150 most well used of its 4000 plus
paid subscription titles.

Initially, I was appalled at the prospect of not binding, having worked in
two New Zealand university libraries which bound almost everything.

Having worked here several years now, however, I feel that, although I
would like to bind substantially more than we do bind, there is no need to
bind all paid subscriptions.

The big issue, in my view, is not so much protection of the material
(because so many journals are as robustly produced as books these days,
especially in the sciences) as the integrity of the collection and the time
involved in shelving.

If you bind material, you end up checking every year that you have received
every issue and pick up unfulfilled claims. And I am told that other
studies estimate that an unbound serials collection takes six times longer
to shelve than a bound collection. And this says nothing about the huge
labour involved in keeping the collection tidy. When journals are kept in
boxes like ours, they can be so easily put back in the wrong box (or
deliberately hidden in the wrong box) by careless or delinquent users.

Thus, my conclusion would be that not binding is a great idea if no one
uses your collection very much, but well used journals are definitely more
economically handled when bound. If I had an unlimited budget I would
probably opt to bind the most frequently used quarter or third of our
collection and leave the rest unbound. I think such a step would save us
money in the end if the labour costs of shelving and shelf tidying are
added up and compared (not to mention the cost of detecting and replacing
missing issues).

                         David Foreman, Head of Serials, University of
                           Waikato Library <d.foreman@WAIKATO.AC.NZ>

At 05:31 AM 8/22/98 PDT, noraishah shahar wrote:
>As part of the syllabus for the 2nd year of the Diploma in Library &
>Information Studies, we have to present a topic each.
>(I'm doing it part-time, working in the day & studying in the evening)
>I've only been working in the Library for about three years & a half
>now, as a Library Assistant. So, I'm quite new to this area.
>The topic I got from the Lecturer is :"Is binding necessary?"
>Other than the costs & storage factors, I hope you all can share with
>me, some of your points/views, and experiences, being in the Library
>line longer than me!
>Although I have some points, I would like to have some more, so I could
>compare & contrast with some people in the USA & other regions.
>I hope to hear from you all soon. So I could quickly prepare the text &
>hopefully some charts...
>Thank-you all in advance,
>Noraishah ( Nor)