KSL News

Frequently Asked Preservation Questions

Q: What is purpose of the Kelvin Smith Library Preservation Department?

A. The Preservation Department's goal is to preserve the Kelvin Smith Library's collections, and to repair or replace needed damaged items. We support the mission of the library by keep as much material as possible available for your use for as long a time as possible, including all formats offered by the library. We also educate staff and users of the library in best practices to limit preventable damage to materials, and respond to any disasters affecting books, paper, or other media held by the library.

Q: I feel too cold in Kelvin Smith Library! Why isn't it warmer?

A: The temperature of the Kelvin Smith Library is kept between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity between 40- 55%. Although most people are comfortable within this environment, some do feel chilly. Cooler temperatures and lower humidity GREATLY increase the longevity of the entire paper, film, and magnetic-based collections this library houses. At a stable lower temperature and humidity, more of the collection will remain physically available for use by future generations of students and researchers. Please remember to bring along a sweater if you feel too cold!

Q. Why is there a "limited food or drink" policy in the library?

A. Food and liquids attract bugs and rodents that can eat books' paper, cloth, leather and glues. Liquids are easily spilled on library materials and equipment, causing staining, mold, and other water damage. After eating, some food molecules remain on your hands and transfer to the furniture, equipment, and library materials you handle, attracting pests. Using sturdy cups with tight-fitting lids will minimize the possibility of spills. Please wash your hands after eating greasy foods or sticky candy before handling library materials, and throw away any remaining food, wrappers, disposable cups and containers in an appropriate waste receptacle. Remember to recycle paper, plastic, and aluminum!

Q. Why are the window shades in the third floor book stacks usually down during the day?

A. The UV portion of the spectrum present in natural light causes especially rapid deterioration of cloth, paper, and leather materials. The warming effect of sunlight coming through the windows onto the shelved books also causes them to deteriorate at a much faster rate. If you are using study carrels in the third floor stack area, please help protect this collection by remembering to close the window shade next to your study area before you leave.

Q. When I searched for a book in the library catalogue, it was marked "Brittle". What does this mean?

A. Brittle books are those that have been identified by staff as having fragile, often breaking and yellowed paper. This is a world-wide problem and is inherent to a vast number of books published from around 1850 through modern times. It was caused by the introduction of ground wood pulp and acidic sizing materials such as alum into the modern paper making process. Just opening and turning the pages of a book in an advanced state of deterioration from acid hydrolysis can cause the pages to break off or crumble, thereby losing printed information. If a book has been found to be brittle, it is often transferred to the Retrospective Research Collections Center on Cedar Road or sent to Iron Mountain National Underground Storage in Pennsylvania to limit handling and to keep it in a better (colder, darker) environment than is possible here.

Q. Can I still use a book marked "Brittle"

A.Brittle books can be requested from RRCC or Iron Mountain Storage and retrieved for library use. Often a reformatted version of the book (reprint, photocopy, microform, or digital version) is in the catalog and available in the library. If not, or if the original is needed, you canmake an appointment to visit the RRCC Monday-Friday (368-4319)or order the books on-line at http://library.case.edu/ksl/services/storindx.html

For same-day service, staff members can fax the request. Requests received prior to 3:00 P.M. are retrieved by 5:00 P.M. Books located at Iron Mountain will be delivered by the next business day. Fill out an on-line request form at: http://library.case.edu/ksl/cedar/ironmountaininfo.html

Please handle brittle books with extra care, and do not photocopy!

If a brittle title is valuable for your research and you feel it should be able to be routinely used, please ask Circulation or Reference staff to tell the Preservation Department and we will make every effort to provide a more serviceable format for the item.

Q. A book I need to use has the location "IN REPAIR" on the on-line catalogue. How long will it be before I can use the book?

A. The majority of books will be repaired and available within 2-3 weeks. The time a book remains in repair depends on each book's condition and treatment needs. Books can be off the shelf for one day up to one year. You can request any book with status "in repair" through Ohio Link or Interlibrary loan. If you need the book right away, call the Preservation Department and we will track it for you and repair it as a RUSH, often the same day. If possible, you can use it at the Library and return it to us at the end of the day.

Q. A book or journal I am trying to use is falling apart or has missing pages. What should I do?

A. When you return the book to Circulation, let them know it is damaged. They will send it to Preservation to be repaired. If you are using a damaged Reference book, tell the Reference librarian and we will handle the book as a RUSH repair. Missing pages will be replaced by the department if possible.

Q. I have a personal or departmental book, thesis or journal that I would like bound. Does the library bind personal or departmental books?

 A. The library can send your personal/departmental books to the commercial bindery to receive a sturdy binding. You can choose from an assortment of colors. The cost is $30 per item. Please contact Sharlane Gubkin at (216)368-3465 or e-mail at sharlane.gubkin@case.edu and arrange to bring your items to the Preservation Department. Departments will need to bring an account or speed type number. Individuals will need to bring a $25 money order for each item bound, made out to “ICI General Bookbinding” as well as a $5 processing fee for each item. If there is extra repair work to prepare items for the bindery, additional charges may be added.

Q. How can I help to keep the Kelvin Smith Library’s collections in good condition?

A. It's easy to help stop preventable damage to the collection by using common sense when handling books and other library materials.

  • Observe the Library's food and drink policy. After snacking, wash and dry your hands before handling library materials.
  • Clean up your space after eating in the library; throw waste products in the trash and clean up crumbs. Remember to use the recycle bins for paper, plastic, aluminum and glass!
  • Vandalism is a crime. Protect materials and your library privileges by NEVER tearing or slicing-out pages or removing any other part of the library's books and journals. Avoid underlining, highlighting or writing in books. Remember, you are borrowing library materials and they will be used by others. Instead, PLEASE PHOTOCOPY, SCAN, OR TAKE NOTES!
  • When photocopying pages, use as little pressure on the spine of the book as possible to get a clear copy. Our copy machines are designed to copy into the margin with little spine pressure. If you can not make copies without damaging the book or the material is too big or fragile, please contact the Preservation Department or staff at The Freedman Center to copy the material on our overhead scanner, which allows items to be scanned face-up with out causing any damage. We can then print-out the images for you or provide them to you on a CD or DVD.
  • Use bookmarks (instead of pencils, etc. or bending page corners) to mark your place. Please do not use Post-it notes as some adhesive remains on the paper and causes damage. Never use paper clips as they damage the pages and become rusty! Do not put thick bunches of papers in the books because this causes damage/breaking of the binding.
  • Protect books from the elements by carrying them in a sturdy waterproof bag. These are provided free of charge at the Circulation Desk. Do not cram books in your book bag.
  • • Try to keep library books and other materials out of the reach of your small child or pet.
  • Do not pull books off the shelf by the top of their spines; instead, push the 2 books on either side of the one you want "in" slightly; then grip your book by the sides to remove it from the shelf. This will prevent the tops of the books from tearing.
  • Never touch the surface of a CD or DVD; handle only by the edges or the center hole.
  • Make sure that you have properly placed the DVD or CD flat in the playing device before pushing it in. Do not force it in if there is any resistance.
  • Place CDs and DVDs back in their protective cases when not in use. Never leave them lying around as they are easily scratched and corrupted.
  • Do not leave DVDs or videotapes on your car dashboard or back window for long periods of time as they are adversely affected by heat. Do not put them on warm radiators or on top of stoves.
  • Give damaged library materials to Circulation staff and ask them to route to Preservation.
  • Handle all library materials gently- and you will be helping the next person who needs to use them.

Your help is appreciated!



(216) 368-3465 M-F between 8AM-4PM

e-mail sharlane.gubkin@case.edu

Visit our website: http://library.case.edu/ksl/whoweare/departments/preservation/index.html

About Us FAQ

What and Where is Siegal?

The notation "Siegal" in the online catalog refers to the Aaron Garber Library of the Siegal College of Judaic Studies at 26500 Shaker Blvd. Cleveland OH 44122. The Aaron Garber Library is the academic library of the College and the central library of the Cleveland Jewish community. It includes 30,000 volumes, plus periodicals, language tapes, music and text CDs in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. The Library's electronic catalog is part of the online library system managed by Case Western Reserve University, and is included in OhioLINK, the statewide electronic academic catalog system. Online borrowing privileges are reserved for students registered at Siegal College. Community members are welcome to browse the catalog, visit the Garber Library and borrow materials.

For further information, contact by email, or call 216-464-4050 x131 or 132.

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Kelvin Smith Library | 11055 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44106-7151 | 216-368-3506