Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Extreme Book Makeover

It's true, even a book can get a makeover. At COM Library, we are always looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, thereby saving both the College and tax payers some money. So instead of getting rid of our dusty, tattered, torn, falling apart books that students leave on the shelves (would you choose this book?), we give them an extreme book makeover.

How do we do it?
We look for candidates in our collection in small batches every month. First the books go through an evaluation process. Are they dusty, tattered, falling apart? Is the subject matter still of interest to students? Top candidates are usually history and literature. For instance, a book of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poems published 70 years ago will still be valid. In some cases it’s not even possible to buy a new version as many titles are out of print.

The Real Makover
Once candidates are selected we send them to a bindery where the real makeover takes place. The books are re-bound, pages shaved to give fresh edges, dust is removed, new covers are created and voila! The books are no longer shunned by students when placed back on our shelves, and we have given new life to these old, well used books.

The Savings
According to The Bowker Annual, average library hardcover prices were $71 (rounded from $70.96) per book in 2006. The average price for an extreme book makeover is about $11. That means that every time the library makes over a book, we're saving 85% over the projected replacement cost. In some cases it’s not even possible to buy a new version of these books, as many titles are out of print. As of this date, the library has sent 57 books to the bindery at a cost of $660, saving the library over $3,420 in replacement value. If we maintain our current pace, we can expect to save $13,680 per year!

Before and Afters
Take a look at our before and after shots.

No comments: