Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Adventures in Repairing Books

Guess what everyone?  I have found my favorite summer class that I have taken at Simmons.  This summer I’m taking LIS 447: Collection Maintenance, and I am loving it!  This is my fourth summer class that I’ve taken at Simmons and I can truly say this is my favorite, yet it is the one that is the furthest out of my comfort zone.  This class is completely different than anything I’ve taken at Simmons and I think it’s a great way to finish my last summer term.  

While I can say this is my favorite of the summer classes I’ve taken here, it is by no means the easiest.  Even though I started Simmons as an archives student, I never actually took any archives classes before switching to the DYO concentration so I have never taken a class like this.  I also have no professional experience with collection maintenance, preservation, or conservation.  Despite my complete lack of experience, this class is so much fun!  So far, we have learned a variety of methods to repair paper tears, how to tighten a hinge on a book, different methods for putting loose pages back into books, how to reback a book, and how to recase a book.  It’s been such a great learning experience!  I’ve definitely had some failures, but I’ve learned from my mistakes and in most places was able to correct them, and if not, I did not repeat them the next time.  I’ve really enjoyed learning how to do these book repairs!  It’s wonderful to be able to see the finished product of the repair you have done, and now I’m thinking about my own book collection and what repairs I can do.  Most of my current collection is in storage, and after learning about proper storage techniques in this class, I’m excited yet nervous to see what kinds of repairs they will need when I can access them again, and if I will be able to repair them using the knowledge from this class.  

We’ve spent most of the class up to this point focusing on book repairs, but this week we’re moving on to other types of materials and enclosures!  Stay tuned!