During the interns’ final week with us, the ISU Conservation staff took a field trip to Des Moines to visit the headquarters of Archival Products & Library Binding Services (LBS). We order many of our conservation supplies from them, and it was great to meet their staff in person, tour the facilities, and learn first-hand about the products they offer.
Janice led us on a tour of the Archival Products floor, where we watched the staff assemble portfolios, pamphlet binders, and other ready-made enclosures. Seeing its operation in action, it was easy to understand why Archival Products prides itself on its quick turn-around time and flexibility responding to custom orders.
Rob led our tour of LBS, where we saw various types of endsheet construction and were able to examine and handle many different types of bookcloth. Seeing behind the scenes at their facility gave us a better sense of how to ask sensible questions about the materials we want to order. Field trips like this are worthwhile not only because they facilitate better communication with our vendors, but because they also foster a personal connection which strengthens our working relationship. I was impressed by the care and commitment that the Archival Products and LBS staff show towards their work and their clients, and this in turn makes me more confident about using their products.