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  • Karen Dugan September 14, 2016 @ 9:07 am Reply

    Hi Angie,
    Working on the children’s floors, the cardboard spine headers in our picture books can be totally destroyed- what would you suggest would be a good fix?

    Thank you!

    • John Ison John Ison September 28, 2016 @ 3:13 pm Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Angie asked me to respond to your question as I conducted book repair workshops for Demco for many years.

      The spines on children’s books are especially susceptible to damage as the printed paper covers provide little strength to keep the spines from tearing loose when people remove the books from the shelves by pulling on the head cap. Leaving books loosely shelved so patrons can grasp them by the sides — or at least not have to pull so firmly on the head caps — can help slow down the damage.

      If only the top of the head cap is torn loose, you can often use some Norbond Adhesive to glue the several layers of cardboard back together and then use a Repair Wing to reattach that to the book to reinforce it.

      If the spine is extensively damaged, try using the procedure described in the The Book Doctor is In: Repairing Damaged Covers blog for reattaching loose spines. For children’s books, instead of applying paper or light cardboard to the center of the repair tape, cut a heavier piece of cardboard to fit and follow the steps outlined in this post.

      Hope this helps.

  • Jan Humphreys February 17, 2017 @ 3:08 pm Reply

    About 40 years ago I attended a book repair workshop conducted by Demco. What I learned has probably saved my school districts’ thousands of dollars in replacement costs for both library and textbooks. It really should be a course in universities.

  • John Ison John Ison February 21, 2017 @ 6:18 am Reply


    I’m gratified to learn that you found the workshop valuable to you and the school district. I agree that the book repair and protection techniques from the workshops would be a valuable addition to the curriculum in library schools. We did teach classes annually at three universities in the midwest for several years but ended that when the company decided to discontinue the “live” workshops. The DVDs that we make available instead provide good information and serve as a resource for anyone who is interested in book repair.

    Thanks for your comments,


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