If a book-plate is adopted let it be small and simple. Have a special plate for gifts, with space on it for writing the name of the giver.
Books wear better if they are carefully opened in a number of places before they are placed on the shelves. This makes the backs flexible and less likely to break with rough handling. In cutting the leaves be sure that the paper knife does its work to the very back edge of the top folds, that it is never sharp enough to cut down into the leaves, and that it is held nearly parallel to the fold to be cut.
The following is a list of things to be done before books are ready for use in a public library:
1 Book notices and reviews are read and the library’s needs and funds considered.
2 Order slips are made out, arranged alphabetically, and compared with the catalog to see if the books listed on them are already in the library.
3 Order list is made out, approved, and sent to dealer.
4 Books arrive and are checked by the bill, and brief notes of date of purchase, initials of dealer, and price are written on the left margin of the second page after the title-page.
5 Bill is checked for items and prices by order slips.
6 Gifts when received are a) properly acknowledged; b) entered in gift book; c) marked with small gift-book plates pasted inside the front cover.
7 Books are looked over (if you wish), collated, especially the expensive ones, to see if complete and sound.
8 Books are entered in the accession book.
9 Books are stamped with library stamp.
10 Books are opened to loosen binding, and pages cut, if necessary.
11 The book-plates are pasted inside the front cover—if book-plates are used.
12 Pockets are pasted on the inside of front cover or wherever the system adopted places them.
13 Labels are put on the backs.
14 Books are classified, author-numbered and call-numbered.
15 Books are entered on shelf-list.
16 Catalog cards are written—author, title, and subject.
17 Bulletin lists of the books are made out for posting up and for newspapers.
18 Call-numbers are written on the labels, the pockets, and the book slips.
19 Labels are varnished.
20 The call-number of each book is entered in the proper place on the line which that book occupies in the accession book.
21 Books are placed on the library shelves for public use.
22 Catalog cards, author, title, and subject, are arranged alphabetically in one series and distributed in catalog.
Binding and mending
Binding a book means not only covering it, but preserving it. Good binding, even at a high price, educates the public taste and promotes a desire to protect the library from injury and loss. Cheap binding degrades books and costs more in the end than good work.