Binding Policy for Libraries
Most libraries acquire various kinds of materials which need differential handling and care. The question is: what is an adequate programme of conservation and binding? Binding does not present a serious problem when library materials are not used heavily, where periodicals are not kept permanently and where special materials are not collected. A library need not bind every item it acquires:
however, every item should be maintained in such physical condition that it can be used by patrons without injury to the material. Neglect of binding activity in libraries would result in issues of periodicals getting lost or mutilated, books being used beyond repair, rare
volumes being needlessly damaged, leather bindings being allowed to deteriorate, and special materials being destroyed.
The main guiding principles of binding documents are the type of material in terms of their physical quality and content value and extent and nature of use. All materials do not necessarily need the same type of binding in all libraries. Estimates of their useful life and of the extent of use that will be made of them, will help determine the best policy. Overbinding can be as wasteful as under-binding. Hence a judicious and cautions book-binding policy is to be evolved.
Materials of heaviest use should be bound according to prescribed standards and specification; those that are .of less use but which for historical or research purpose will be valuable over a period of time, will also need this type of binding. Usually large or heavy volumes and those which receive extra-ordinary use should have reinforced bindings. Indexes, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, book
catalogues and similar reference works need this type of binding.