The Preservation Lab is lucky to have a lot of equipment. One of our more interesting pieces is a shrink-wrap machine. We bring the machine out about once a year when we have a fair amount of bound materials that meet the following criteria:
- part of the general circulating collection;
- an item with a history of little or low use;
- brittle paper, making rebinding or repair impossible or too time consuming;
- replacements are not available or prohibitively expensive considering use.
Before the retirement of Pat Schmude, a UCL conservation technician in the lab for 28 years, we brought the machine up so that he could remind us of all the special things we need to do to make it work optimally — all the things you just don’t find in a manual but you know from 20+ years experience.
And of course we did have a little fun…here is my coffee mug shrink-wrapped. I’m trying to give it up…so far I haven’t broken the seal!
Holly Prochaska (UCL) — Preservation Librarian