Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Hospital


Our theme and circle time stories are read as a group, with a lot of questions, movement and discussion. 

Library time is a specific activity where the group reads at the table, while I read to each one individually a book of their choice. This is a chance to cuddle and read a very familiar book with my full attention and no interruptions.  


As I came to the table after reading to the last child, the children were showing me some MORE books with damage. Our Book Hospital bin was getting pretty full, and many more books were showing signs of wear that asked for some preventative treatment. I figured it was time for some surgery. 



Isn't this a cute label? I couldn't come up with anything I liked more, so I downloaded it from Kindertastic. Since we have some fairly large lap books, and we have a lot of books that get a lot of love, our bin, from the dollar store, is only slightly smaller than a laundry basket. 

It isn't often that we have book issues in the preschool room with the regular books, just the occasional tear, but here in the toddler/early preschooler room, the board books get pretty abused by little ones just learning how to treat them properly. 

The board books are always available for them to read at the table, however the are kept up on a shelf so the little toddlers can only get to them under supervision. Cloth and vinyl books are always out.


This may seem like a relatively DUH post, but I've been doing this for awhile, and it is still an art to repair them and an effort to keep the books constantly in good condition. Most of these books are nearly 10 years old, some are 20 years old from my oldest son, and some are even [gasp] in their forties from my childhood. Since I have no intention of retiring from doing child care anytime soon, these books could potentially be used by these children's children one day, if they are taken care of properly. 

With board books and hardback book covers, the top printed layer often comes loose and de-laminates. Given that I want these books to last a lifetime, or as close to that as possible, I choose to use an acid-free spray adhesive [Elmer's Craft Bond is my choice] whenever possible. I simply spray one side, 


and smooth from the attached side out with a wooden ruler with a firm pressure to eliminate all air bubbles.


If the spine is broken, often it gets cupped. Before adhering, I fold it to cup out, rather than in towards the book spine. This will help it sit down rather than cupping up and not adhering. I spray it and place a rubber band around the spine until dry. 


Once dry, I tape the spine. As soon as a book starts to show wear around the spine, I tape it. I should do this to all of them initially, but new books are always a high interest and I seem to be unable to get it done.


To tape the spine I use a heavy duty packing tape. I know there are some archival quality library tapes out there, I just haven't gotten any yet. The acid-free adhesive is easy, as I always have that for scrapbooking, but the tape I just haven't gotten to locating and buying yet. 


I place the tape about 1/2 inch over the top face spine edge of the book and cut it to length. It is important for it to be as straight along the edge as possible. 


To smooth it over on smaller books, I firmly press with both index fingers over the top of the taped edge. Usually this will not create any fold or bubbles in the tape. The heavier the tape, the less likely it is to wrinkle.


For bigger books, I will smooth from the middle with both thumbs, working it firmly and smoothly in both directions.  Trim the ends even as needed.


 A book that was falling apart, now looks and reads just fine. 



While I'm glad the children will be able to continue to read these familiar stories, I'm also glad that I was able to rescue over $50 in books today. These ranged in price from $8-$5 a piece, and those were the prices on them. Replacement cost would be higher. 

A few of the books today any sane person would have thrown away. But of course the ones in the worst shape, are almost always the favorites. 
Tags: library, book, hospital, repair, preschool, daycare, child, care, childcare, kindergarten, books, board books, rescue

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