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General Collections Care for Users

This guide gives users some guidelines on the care and handling of library materials in the general collections.

Not This Way

When a book is repeatedly pulled by the headcap (the weak upper portion of the spine) it will eventually fail, tear, and need repair. Removing a book from the shelf as shown below can damage the headcap.


There are many examples such as this one (below) in the collection that show the result of removing a book from the shelf by pulling from the top of the spine material.



Books should rest vertically on the shelf so they are supported by other books or a bookend. Sometimes when you remove books to look at or borrow, this can happen.


Much Better

To prevent damaging the headcap, push back the books on either side of the desired book and gently remove it by grasping around its middle with thumb and fingers.


These items can be fixed in the Preservation Unit. They are usually identified by Circulation staff and routed to Preservation at the West Campus Library.


Please try to leave books in this position after you remove a book from the shelf. If you are not certain where a book you have been looking at goes, leave it for library staff to re-shelve.