Implement a successful conservation programme:
To implement a successful conservation programme, the staff must know:
- The nature of base materials and manufacturing processes of the library materials.
- Principles of use of the equipment necessary to use them.
- The environmental conditions and special storage methods most suited to each form.
- Methods of cleaning and maintenance handling of each item.
Preservation is as much a management responsibility as binding. In fact binding is only one aspect of preservation. Preservation includes maintenance of objects in their original condition through retention, proper care and if it is damaged restoration. A pre requisite for successful preservation programme is the need for clear understanding of materials from which items to be stored are made: Paper based materials (books, periodicals, etc.), photographs, slides, microforms, films, video tapes, sound, recording, view discs and computer tapes and disks. Robert Patterson has suggested the following steps for a successful preservation planning:
• Examine the environment in the library and the condition of the collection.
• Prepare a disaster plan
• Examine current practices (binding, handling, processing, repair techniques), recommend changes and ascertain additional requirements to meet current standards.
• Ascertain what professional conservation advice and expertise are available to the library.
• Time when an item needs treatment beyond the facilities available in the library or needs to be withdrawn from circulation.
The greatest enemies of books are dust and dirt. Though airconditioning is the only final solution, regular dusting and routine cleaning would help avoid the damage.
Dust and dirt should not be allowed to accumulate on open shelves. Insect, pests can be disposed off by placing the book, with leaves opened, in a warm cupboard containing paradichlorbenzene crystals for about two weeks. Special attention should be given to old or rare books collection. Ancient bindings with metal bosses and corners and fine ornamental bindings need special care. These bindings have to be either protected by loose cloth covers or enclosed in carefully fitted boxes lined with some soft material to guard against friction, Apart from careful handling, these material should be supplemented by judicious application of leather preservative where appropriate. This fluid cleanses a great amount of dirt from the old bindings and also enhances the appearances of old leather as well as retarding deterioration, without harming the skin.