The Catholic University of America

What can library users do to help preserve the collection?


Observe the no food or drink policy. Food crumbs and trash can attract insects and other pests that feed on books and other library materials. Drink spills can cause damage to books and attract pests.
food and drink

When photocopying books, especially tightly bound, older or fragile volumes, do not force the volume to lie flat. This can damage the binding or cause brittle paper to break apart.

Remove a book from the shelf by pushing back the surrounding books and grasping the needed one by the middle. Never remove a book from the shelf by pulling from the top of the spine. This will eventually tear the spine.

grasping spine to remove book from shelf
book damaged by water

Protect books from getting wet. If a book gets wet bring it to the Circulation Desk without delay. If dried under controlled conditions the book may be saved from molding or swelling.

Use a bookmark to keep your place. Laying an open book face down, turning down the corners, or using post-it notes, paper clips, or other objects will damage the book.

use a bookmark
illustration removed from book Writing in a library book or removing pages or illustrations from a library book is vandalism. Don't do it.
Always report damaged books or other materials to the circulation desk natural elements


Return to Preservation FAQs


Do you have a Preservation question? Ask Us!

Search the University Libraries' website