Fundamentals of Book Repair

Contact LYRASIS for Contract Pricing

This two-day class teaches staff members how to perform simple, economical, quality repairs on materials in circulating and reference collections.

No sessions are currently scheduled for this event. To request a new session, please contact


Wear and tear on books is inevitable, and most libraries perform minor repairs on their damaged materials. Despite good intentions, some materials and procedures used for repairing books can shorten the useful life of an item and make it hard to open and use. Done properly, book repair is an effective preservation strategy that can extend the useful life of a collection and reduce replacement and binding costs.

The focuses on techniques that do not require expensive equipment and supplies, and can be performed successfully after a short training period. The class does NOT teach techniques for repairing materials that are special, rare, or archival. The following procedures are taught in small-groups through demonstrations and practice:

  • Tightening hinges when text blocks are pulling away from the cover
  • Replacing torn endsheets
  • Replacing torn or damaged spines
  • Mending paper
  • Tipping and hinging pages into bound volumes.

Lectures and discussion address preservation principles, treatment decision-making, and organizing and equipping a repair unit. Included with the registration fee is a book repair kit containing a variety of tools, samples of paper, cloth and adhesives provided by support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

  • Identify common minor repairs.
  • Discuss proper care and handling techniques.
  • Locate vendors for appropriate preservation supplies.
  • Apply basic repair techniques for circulating collections.

Designed for staff members who actually perform book repair in libraries, but also useful for those who supervise repair units. No prior preservation training will be presumed.
Frequency: this class can be contracted

Class registration on day one will begin at 8:15 a.m.; the teaching session begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 5:00 p.m. On day two, the session begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 5:00 p.m.

A repair manual and supply kit will be provided in class, but a few basic tools will need to be brought by participants:

  • a measuring cup
  • a teaspoon measurement
  • a fork or very small whisk
  • No. 2 pencils
  • sharp scissors

Participants should also bring a bib-type apron and/ or wear casual clothes, since one of the adhesives used in class is difficult to remove from clothing.

The book repair procedures covered in this class are not intended for the repair of rare, archival, or special collection materials.
You may register using one of two methods:

    Register Online
    Click on "Register" above.
    PDF Form
    Print out the registration form and fax it to LYRASIS at 404.892.7879.