Commercial Library Binding


Books are sent for binding to extend their service lives. Not all binderies do Library Binding. Those that do follow specific standards (ANSI/NISO Z39.78 – 2000 (R2006) Library Binding) designed to keep the book in useable condition for the longest time and are usually members of the Library Binding Institute.

Some libraries do not bind at all, preferring to allow monographs and journals to circulate in their original form. Some public libraries may use library binding only for journals and choose to use in-house methods for repair and strengthening, depending on their needs. Academic libraries send most all of their materials to be bound to a library binder as a preservation method to ensure that the materials are available for future research.

Library staff may want to seek assistance for selecting items for commercial binding that are of historical significance or books published before 1930 to ensure that the books receive appropriate binding treatment.

(Please note all PDFs listed below will open in a new window when clicked.)

Glossary of Binding Terms George A. Smathers Library, University of Florida


The library binder produces a more durable binding than commercial edition binderies. However, library binding (like any form of binding) changes the appearance of the book and conseqently may lead to a loss of aesthetic or collector’s value. Further, care must be taken to choose binding materials slow to deteriorate during aging and durable enough to avoid mechanical failure of the binding from wear and tear.


Training for commercial binding selection is not a trivial enterprise. The manuals and other training resources below are offered not as a substitute for formal training, but as an adjunct and reinforcement. Manuals and tutorials can help a prospective bindery preparation technician make the most of his/her training.

Commercial Library Binding Workshop 
California Preservation Program
(May 2006, San Jose)

  1. Agenda
  2. Terminology used at the bindery
  3. Parts of a bound volume
  4. Informal bindery process outline
  5. Quality Control outline

All in PDF format, will open in new window








The Library Binding Institute

Go to the link above and click on “Library Binding” to access a copy of the (soon to be posted) Guide to the Library Binding Standard, (Jan Merrill-Oldham and Paul Parisi) as well as other resources on library binding.  There is also an “Ask a Binder” section on the website.