Binding should be appropriate to the type of material and to the expected use. Early binding for libraries stressed strength, appearance being only a secondary consideration. Books were generally bound in half leather with cloth sides. Magazines and newspapers were generally bound with leather backs and corner and with cloth sides lettering was stamped in gold. Scarcity of leather during World War I led to the use of cloth for entire cover.
In 1935 the American Library Association issued its 'minimum specification for Class A Library Binding' followed in 1939 by its 'Standards for reinforced (Pre-Library Bound) New Books' issued with the Library Binding Institute. These standards have been combined and have been revised as needed, to reflect new materials and new processes by the Library Binding Institute.
These standards which are useful are given below: