SSL ♥ Books Project
With the number of books being sent for repair at the SSL (at least 250 books every term!) the SSL Love Books Project was created to help promote the care and welfare of the SSL's important teaching and research collection. For more information about the project, please visit the SSL Love Books Project page.
The Life of Book
The Life of a Book video was created by staff of the Bodleian Social Science Library Love Books Project Team.
Tips for good book care
Every book sent for repair is one less book available for you to read and borrow. Whilst damaged books are sometimes unavoidable, particularly for titles on reading lists in high demand, there are a number of small things we can all do to reduce the number of books that are unavailable at any given time.
In the table below we've come up with lots of easy ways to help look after both your own and the SSL's books.
|X Try not to...||This can cause...||Instead, try to... ✔|
|X get books wet||books to become mouldy or misshapen||keep books dry by putting them in a waterproof bag ✔|
|X press down on the spine of a book or open a book until the spine splits||the binding to break down, sections to become detached from the cover and pages to fall out||open the book gently and handle with care ✔|
|X eat or drink near a book||books to become mouldy (or pages to become unreadable with greasy food) and encourage pests||eat and drink before or after reading and wash your hands before touching the book (water is less of a threat but can still damage books) ✔|
|X throw or drop a book||the pages to crease and the binding to break down||place books down or pass them carefully ✔|
|X pile books too high||books to fall over, which causes the same damage as throwing or dropping them||pile no more than three or four at a time, and keep them away from the edge of a table or other surface ✔|
|X store a book on its side||pages to fray and crease||store books in the usual upright position ✔|
|X bend pages or the cover of a book||tears to form and pages to become vulnerable||ensure that pages and the book cover are kept flat ✔|
|X write in or mark a book||text to become unreadable and the next reader to be influenced unfairly||make notes on a separate piece, on removable sticky notes, or on book darts ✔|
|X leave sticky notes in a book||pages to tear when they are removed after a long time||remove all sticky notes and book darts when returning a book ✔|
|X leave books on the floor||books to gather excess dirt and be accidentally damaged||always put books somewhere safe where they will not be damaged ✔|
|X take more books at a time out than you need||books to get damaged by being squeezed into bags; extra handling of books as they are taken home, returned and re-shelved unnecessarily||take out only as many books as you expect to read ✔|
Or why not try an e-book where they are available. e-Books don't go mouldy or crease. Nor do they get torn or are covered in pen marks. Though we still don't recommend spilling your drink on your e-reader.