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Guide to the ANSI/NISO/LBI Library Binding Standard
Jan Merrill-Oldham and Paul Parisi
Item Number: 978-0-8389-8484-0
Publisher: ALCTS
Price: $39.50
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The ANSI/NISO/LBI Z39.78-2000, Library Binding Standard, describes the technical and materials specifications for first-time hardcover binding of serials publications and paperbound books, and rebinding of hardcover books and serials for library use. The Standard, like any technical document, is not easy reading.

Packed with illustrations, this Guide illuminates the Library Binding Standard and with its parallel numbering scheme allows side-by-side reading of the two documents. The Guide translates the technical jargon into language that can be readily understood by library staff. The Guide was written with the hope that enhanced technical knowledge will enable library staff to interpret and apply the Library Binding Standard to its fullest advantage. A series of management and training tools are included in the appendixes.

This Guide updates and supercedes the 1990 publication Guide to the Library Binding Institute Standard for Library Binding.

  • A user-friendly resource that will help countless library employees who are involved in commercial binding workflows to understand the standard by which the industry operates.
  • A useful working tool for those in the book binding profession who share an interest in maintaining and improving the condition of library collections.

  • 76 pages
    8.25" x 11"


    Preface to the 1990 Edition

    Commentary on the Standard
    Foreword to the Standard
    Technical Specifications
    Materials Specifications

    A. Decision Trees
    1. Is Binding Necessary?
    2. Binding Monographs
    3. Binding Serials
    B. Inspecting Library Bound Volumes
    C. Nonstandard Library Binding
    D. Supplementary Bindery Products and Services
    E. Key Elements of a Binding Agreement
    F. Sample Customer Profile

    About the Authors

    1. Stubbing
    2. Single perforated sheet bound in with others to create stubbing
    3. The effect of stubbing on openability
    4. Effect of grain direction on openability
    5. Comparing openability among methods of leaf attachment used in library binding
    6. Slots cut through the folds of signatures
    7. Whip stitching*
    8. Restricted openability resulting from whip stitching
    9. Endpaper for multiple-signature text blocks—option 1
    10. Endpaper for multiple-signature text blocks—option 2
    11. Endpaper for multiple-signature text blocks—option 3
    12. Endpaper for recasing—option 4
    13. Separate signatures
    14. Hinged-in leaf *
    15. Tipped-in leaf *
    16. Punching the fold of a signature positioned on a metal saddle
    17. Saw-cutting the spine of a text block to create sewing holes
    18. Rectangular slots, made by a rotary saw, along the fold of a signature
    19. Slots, made by a rotary saw, visible in an open text block
    20. Hand sewing on tapes*
    21. Hand sewing on sawn-in cords*
    22. Five holes punched for hand sewing a single signature through the fold
    23. Figure-eight sewing structure
    24. Spine of a machine-sewn text block
    25. Spine of a hand-sewn text block
    26. Lock stitch*
    27. Closely spaced sewing holes made by Singer-type sewing machines
    28. Endpapers at the front and back of a multiple-signature text block
    29. Endpaper for single signature
    30. Openability of a text stock that is sewn through the fold
    31. A notched spine*
    32. Endpaper for adhesive-bound text blocks
    33. The double-fanning process
    34. Publishers’ adhesive binding (perfect binding)
    35. Thick signatures require double milling
    36. Passage of thread through an oversewn volume
    37. Shuttle threads passing through loops
    38. Oversewn endpaper
    39a. Oversewn endpaper sewn onto text block
    39b. Oversewn endpaper sewn on and folded back
    39c. Oversewn endpaper sewn on, folded back and tipped down
    40. Side-sewn endpaper
    41. Traditional joint and wide joint
    42. Restricted openability of an oversewn volume
    43. Hard-to-read text near the binding margin in many oversewn volumes
    44. The perforated edge of a leaf that has been oversewn
    45. Thread passing perpendicularly through the binding margin of a side-sewn text block
    46. Restricted openability of a side-sewn text block
    47. Flat-backed, rounded, and rounded-and-backed text blocks*
    48. Properly backed text block: shoulders equal the thickness of the text block plus the board
    49. Spine lined with spine-lining cloth
    50. Spine linings for large and heavy text blocks
    51. Double cloth spine lining for large and heavy text blocks
    52. Cord placed at the head and tail of the inlay
    53. Headband adhered to head of text block
    54a. Library corner—step 1
    54b. Library corner—step 2
    55a. Traditional corner—step 1
    55b. Traditional corner—step 2
    56. Fore edge of a sagging text block in a traditional case
    57. Fore edge of a text block bound flush with the bottom of the case
    58. Examples of proper and improper spine shapes
    59a. A closed phase box
    59b. An open phase box
    60. An open double-tray box
    61. Parts of a bound volume


    Jan Merrill-Oldham is Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian in the Harvard University Library and the Harvard College Library. She directs the work of the Weissman Preservation Center in the Harvard University Library and the Preservation & Imaging program in the Harvard College Library.

    Ms. Merrill-Oldham has served on and chaired committees of the American Library Association, International Federation of Library Associations Preservation and Conservation North American Network, National Information Standards Organization, Library of Congress (Preservation Directorate), British Library (Collections Care department), Association of Research Libraries, Heritage Preservation, Library Binding Institute, Northeast Document Conservation Center, Commission on Preservation and Access, Columbia University School of Library Service Conservation Education Programs, and other groups. At Harvard she serves on the senior management committees of he Harvard University and Harvard College Library, the Executive and Collections committees of the Open Collections Program, the HUL Bibliographic Standards Working Group (Subgroup on the MARC 583 Field), the HCL Collections Reformatting Committee, and other groups; and served on the Google Oversight Group during the planning phases of the Harvard project.

    Ms. Merrill-Oldham has collaborated on planning for local, regional, and national conferences; has presented many papers, lectures, and workshops; and has authored and edited numerous publications—most recently, Of Silver Bullets and the Preservation of Library Resources (ASP Conference Series, Vol. 377, 2007). Before coming to Harvard Ms. Merrill-Oldham served in various capacities in the University of Connecticut Libraries, including planning and developing the libraries’ preservation program.

    Paul A. Parisi joined a nine-person family business in 1975 after graduating from Harvard. Initially specializing in library binding, the binding of unique books for library use, Paul has expanded the company into edition binding of large runs of hard-cover and paperback books and most recently into on-demand digital printing and binding.

    Paul was president of the Library Binding Institute from 1991-1993. He is an advisor to the Bookbinding program at the North Bennett Street School and a lecturer at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences. He has been a speaker at library binding conferences in the U.S., France, and Sweden; author of numerous articles on library binding; is co-author of the Guide to the Library Binding Institute Standard for Library Binding; co-editor of the 1986 Library Binding Institute Standard for Library Binding; a member of the committee that wrote the 1996 ISO Standard for Library Binding and technical editor of the ANSI/NISO/LBI Z39-78-2000 Standard for Library Binding.

    Paul and wife Margaret have four children: Justine, Grant, Chase, and Reid. In his spare time he enjoys ballroom dancing, squash and tennis.

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