Since book acquisition funds have become more scarce, libraries are unable to pay higher prices for hard cover books that often circulate the same number of times as less expensive paper back books. Therefore, to increase the number of circulations libraries must send books to be either prebound or rebound. A national survey by the American Library Association (ALA) shows that the average trade book might last only 20 to 25 circulations, but books prebound or rebound according to the LBI standard will last at least 100 circulations. The librarian will have to choose whether to replace deteriorated trade books with new ones in order to achieve the same number of circulations as prebound or rebound books. This study concentrates on investigating and determining a cost effective model for rebinding or prebinding books according to specifications of the Library Binding Institute. First, the number of circulations of a rebound and prebound book of a certain price was obtained. The purpose was to set a data base and establish a relation between a cost-effective number of circulations and price of the books plus the cost of rebinding or prebinding. Second, the breakeven number of circulations was determined. In addition, other variables were included such as: thickness; dimension (trim size); type of binding, perfect bound or sewn; the type of cover, hard or paper back editions. The purpose was to provide the librarian with a graph that will aid them in their decision as to whether or not to rebind. This research may also aid in the decision to purchase prebound books. Third, the savings from choosing to rebind or prebind as compared to replacing deteriorated books, were also determined. Finally, a pareto analysis was conducted to identify the most common causes of deterioration of a book. The results showed that the number of circulations was affected strongly by such factors as: ways in which books are handled by users; usage of the books inside the library; photocopying of books; various standards used by libraries to determine when a book should be sent to rebinding; and inadequate storage of books on shelves. Furthermore, two graphs were made to aid the librarian in deciding whether to rebind, to prebind or to keep the book with its original binding. Both graphs, one for hard cover books and one for paper back books, indicate there will be an increase in the cost effective number of circulations as the original purchasing price increases. The results also indicated that the original method of binding, i.e. paperback vs. hard cover was significant. However, dimension (the size of the book) proved to be only significant in the case of paper back books. In addition, the decisions to prebind or rebind was found to be more cost-effective when compared to replacing deteriorated bindings with new ones. Finally, it was concluded that the major problems that caused circulating library books to deteriorate were broken or damaged spines and damaged covers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Libraries--Cost of operation; Bookbinding--Cost of operation

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Layne, Charles

Advisor/Committee Member

Freckleton, Marie


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: Z700 .C328 1988


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