Damaged items

​Avoiding damage

Inevitably a number of your library resources will become damaged. Some tactics to avoid this:

  • Keep the library shelves tidy – if students see respect for the facility they will also respect the library and its holdings.
  • Books shelved correctly put less strain on bindings.
  • Cover the items with plastic or contact and reinforce spines with special clear   reinforcing tape.
  • Minimise loans to students who consistently return damaged items.
  • Charge users for replacement copies.

Assessing damage

If a book is damaged you need to assess the cost-effectiveness of possible repair, bearing in mind that students may not be attracted by items obviously repaired, and items that have undergone repair tend to be weaker and sustain other damage easily.

Things to consider:

  • Is the item worth keeping in the collection?
  • Has the item been repaired previously?
  • How much time will the repair take?
  • Are there staff available?
  • How much will repairs cost?
  • Do I have the expertise?

It may be cheaper to replace popular items and limit repairs to precious, rare, irreplaceable items.


Repairs obviously depend on the actual damage. Libraries keep a range of glues, tapes and staples on hand for this purpose. Specialist repair materials can be purchased from Raeco.

For instruction on repairs, keep your eye out for sessions at conferences and meetings held locally or consult YouTube and the links below: