BR | Harold B. Lee Library Book Repair
We help good books get better! The book repair department at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University works tirelessly to mend, repair, revive, and bring books back to life.
Tags: byu book repair books library university research scholar er emergency room br
Added: 4 years ago
["BR Book Repair" appears on screen, as several shots of librarians dressed in medical scrubs are shown, while a "sound-alike" version of the theme song from the TV show "ER" plays]
[cut to more shots of librarians and student workers (wearing surgical masks) as they push book carts through the library]
[cut to a shot of a female librarian (wearing a surgical mask) standing over the camera, as a student worker hands her a scalpel ... then someone off camera sprays her with liquid (library paste to simulate blood?)]
[cut to a shot of the "operating table", as the librarian works on an old-looking book]
[cut to a shot of a male librarian (wearing a surgical mask and a name tag reading "Jeff") as he looks up at the camera and nods]
[cut to several quick shots of the various members of the library staff, then to a shot of Boyesen's "The Works of Schiller" on the operating table]
[cut to a male librarian pushing a book cart slowly towards the camera, as other staff members follow behind him]
[cut to a shot of three librarians standing over the camera, as they place a book down on top of it, then "HBLL Book Repair, Helping Good Books Get Better!" appears on screen]
Seriously, I could fill the list here with just productions from The Harold B. Lee Library Multimedia Unit . Among some of the ones I liked includes the short but effective videos using unreliable sources like fortune tellers, used car sales persons to drive in the point of using reliably sources. See Library Databases | The Card Reader , Library Databases | The Used Car Salesman and the Library Databases | YouTube Kid
I also liked the warm, moving, THE Library | What Changes Us video as well as the National Treasure like Special Collections | Theatrical Trailer, not to mention the famous Old Spice spoofs
But in the end the one I am going to showcase is BR, book repair , a spoof of ER the TV show opening credits. If you have ever watched the show you will marvel at how good this is. I would add this concept isn't new , see Arlington Heights Memorial Library's Technical Services for a less polished example.
Theft, on-going construction, heavy traffic, damage to property and crowded areas - although these problems sound like a New Yorker's headache, they happen in Provo at the Harold B. Lee Library.
The constant shuffle of people through the library's only exit keep security officers busy monitoring the alarm system for theft, checking returned books for damages and patrolling for sneaky snackers from 7 a.m. until midnight each day.
The alarms at the exit are set off three to four times a day, said Ryan Judd, the library's supervising security officer. Each time, an "F.I." or filled interview card is completed for police records. The card contains the person's name and an explanation of what set off the alarm.
Common excuses for a book not being checked out are the person forgot to check it out or someone slipped the book in a backpack as a joke. A few people are not BYU students that try to leave without checking out a book. In most cases of attempted theft, it is a BYU student who forgot their ID or has lost library privileges, Judd said.
The cards are used to monitor whether a pattern develops with a certain person, but no citations are usually given, Judd said. A few do escape with books not checked out, but most are caught, he said.
"When (a robbery) happens, it makes us take a hard look at what we are doing and what we can do better," Judd said
Theft is not the only problem faced by the library security. The main problem is actually book abuse, Judd said.
Judd feels the cause of this problem is selfishness. When a patron cuts out a page for personal use, that periodical or book cannot be used again by someone else, he said.
Mutilation includes everything from ripping out pages to highlighting a sentence. The library has had cases ranging from pen marks to a book shot with a gun, Judd said.
The damaged books are reported by the on-duty security officers at the exit book-return desk. When a book is turned in, the officer looks it over for anything from missing pages to pen marks.
If some damage is discovered, the student who returned the book is called in for a personal interview to explain, Judd said. If the student refuses to come in, the case is referred to the police department.
Fines for damaged books are often a flat $100, which goes to the general university fund. If the book is rare, or must be replaced, the student is also responsible for those additional charges.
"There is malicious mutilation and then there is just not taking care of the book," Judd said.
Many patrons may not understand the impact book damage has on a library.
Students need to be educated about how to treat a library book and what constitutes abuse, Judd said.
The library receives 150 books a month, on average, that are damaged and need mending, said James Fairbourn, supervisor of book repair. The most common abuse is writing or highlighting in the book. Other books sent to be repaired are wet, have cut or torn pictures and pages or are stained, he said.
Although many of the books can be repaired without having to be replaced, the amount of work that goes into the repair process is incredible, Fairbourn said.
About 5 books a month are so damaged they need to be replaced. The library spends $200 to $1000 a month replacing these books, Fairbourn said.
"If a book is out of print, which happens sometimes, it costs extra to get a hold of," Fairbourn said. "Even if the book does not need to be replaced, we spend $100-$500 a month in labor and repair costs."
A display about mutilation of books is now in the glass case near the circulation desk. Judd has also approached BYU professors to ask their classes not to highlight in library books.