The following may sound like a lecture, but, the problem of damaged library materials has escalated greatly over the past few years.
Do you know cause of the greatest damage to our books? Water bottles! Spilled water makes a wrinkly mess of the pages inviting mold and weakening the binding. In most cases the damage requires reordering the book, which leads to a whole other issue when a book is found to be out of print. If you wanted to read the book, then perhaps someone else did, too, so please refrain from putting library books in a bag with your water bottle.
We know that you feel you are helping by cleaning CDs and DVDs for us, but the reality is, you may end up damaging the materials even more, consequently rendering them unusable! The best way to help us is by returning the items and telling the staff the condition so that we can take care of it with our special cleaning equipment. Here's a DVD that someone obviously attempted to clean. It is part of five disk set, and now, the whole set must be reordered!
Repair of ripped or loose pages should also be done by Library staff. We use a glue called "Magic Mend Adhesive," that allows us to repair damage so that it is almost invisible! Pages that have been taped, can't later be repaired.
And of course, we ask that you keep all materials out of the way of teething babies and dogs!
I can't tell you how many DVD cases are returned with the corners chewed. You may try to keep toddlers amused in the car by handing them a DVD case, but, there is no guarantee that the case is made of is baby-safe plastic!
Parents should always be aware that a young child with a crayon or pen in hand can deface a book. By the time a child enters school, they are usually able to understand the reason not to draw in a library book, but it's the toddlers parents need to watch.
We appreciate all your efforts to return our materials in the condition they were borrowed so that your tax dollars can be spent on new materials rather than on repair and replacements for damaged ones!
*Joan Rivers fans may enjoy her new book, Diary of a Mad Diva [B RIV].