To bind or not to bind? Library behind the scenes

During the summer we start a number of our behind the scenes projects that we don’t always have the time to do during busy term time. One of these jobs is journal binding……

Journal binding may sound like a simple job, put journals in box – send them to the binders. However there’s more to it than meets the eye.jn1

Firstly we have to decide what we need to get bound. To do this we consider a number of things:

  • Is the journal a very old edition?
  • Is the journal well used and prone to damage?
  • Is the journal on lots of reading lists?

jn3Once we have agreed on the journals to be bound they are collected from the rolling stacks. Notes are made of missing issues, either to make a search for later or to identify where volumes are incomplete. The issues are made into bundles identifying what can be bound into one book.
When a journal is being bound for the first time the team get to use their artistic licence, choosing what colour the fabric of the volume is going to be!jn2

When the journals return from our Leeds-based binders, Hollingworth and Moss, the team has to check that they have been bound correctly and the title details are accurate. Each individually bound volume gets a new barcode and security tags and then we add them to the catalogue, ready to be found by our users!



Library behind the scenes: Print Journals Teams

The print journals teams at the Sheila Silver and Headingley Libraries look after the 550 print titles to which we currently subscribe. These include a range of academic journals in subjects from advanced nursing to vacation marketing and also foreign language titles such as Stern and Le Point, trade journals such as The Grocer and Building, and magazines such as New Statesman and Prospect.

As well as the current subscriptions, we maintain back issues of hundreds of journals. A separate team, based at Headingley Library, sets up and maintains access to the thousands of electronic journals available via Discover and the ejournals A-Z list.

Current Journals Display closeDuring the summer we continue to record which new journal issues we receive, chase up any missing issues, and order new print and online journal subscriptions. We carry out an annual renewal process for all subscriptions and, carry out some of the most basic jobs – but arguably the most important! – sending titles off for binding, tidying and finding the “hidden” titles that have been secreted around the Library and making sure there is room for all new journals on the shelves.

Our oldest title is the January-June 1846 volume of the Illustrated London News, which includes coverage of Corn Law debates, Faraday’s Royal Institution lecture on “Magnetism and Light”, and a West Riding election in which “not the slightest excitement is manifested in any part of the Riding.”

Our more recent titles offer insight into upcoming fashion trends (Vogue, Collezioni Trends and Uomi Collezioni) and the technical side of the latest movies (International Cinematographers Guild Magazine and Cinefex).

So come and have a browse of our display shelf or colourful rolling stacks – you might be surprised at what you’ll find!

And so it begins…

It’s been a busy week for the start of the refurbishment of the first floor in Sheila Silver Library:

  • 31 members of staff moved offices: Academic Librarians are now in rooms 402 and 403 and our Learning Systems team have headed off to Queen’s Square House
  • We’ve moved the PCs from the first floor into storage and the labs have been emptied of furniture
  • All the furniture from the rest of the floors will be moved by Monday 6th June


In addition Media Loans and Staff IT Services have started the move back into their lovely refurbished spaces in both Headingley and Sheila Silver Libraries.

HY media loans

Week beginning 6th June sees:

  • signage arriving to signpost you to where services can be found during the refurbishment
  • a colour printer moving to the ground floor
  • contractors setting up their cabins ready to start work on Monday 13th June

We’ll keep you up to date here with all the developments but you can also follow #librefurb at @BeckettLibrary or take a look at our FAQs on our website.