Remember this guy?
The book came packaged in a Tide box that was already starting to tear apart before a single patron had used it. Melissa was out the day it arrived, and I thought it would be fun to write a blog post asking our readers for their opinion on how to prepare the book for inclusion in our general collection. Thanks to all who commented.
This was a great learning experience for me. Not only did I learn how to construct a new type of enclosure, I also learned a bit more about the workings of the library.
Option One: Throw it Out
The first thing I learned was that it is the policy of the library to throw out all enclosures that come with general collection books. As a conservation student, I was a bit shocked when I heard this, but it makes sense. Enclosures are easily lost; many of the boxing options take up too much shelf space, and making custom enclosures is time consuming. We decided that it was worth saving this enclosure because, despite the title, there is no visual evidence of a Tide box on the book cover or in the book.
Option Two: Separate the box and book, put a filler in the box, and construct a custom enclosure that keeps the two items together.
This was my initial solution to the problem, and I was happy that many of our commentors suggested similar solutions. The problem with this answer, of course, is that it would more than double the size of the book. It would also be time and material intensive.
Option Three: Construct a chemise for the book and house the book in a custom CMi box.
This was our ultimate solution. I made a chemise that wraps around the book and then attached pieces of the Tide box around the outside.
Mindy McCoy kindly printed off a photo of how the book arrived. I attached it to the inside cover of the chemise so that patrons will hopefully understand why the book is wrapped in a Tide box.
From here, the box will go down to Preservation Services where Cindy will measure it and order a custom CMi box like the one standing upright in the photo. The CMi box will protect the pieces of the Tide box from abrasion and hold the chemise together.
As Melissa said in her comments, we are seeing more and more books arrive in unique housings and we are dealing with them on a case-by-case basis for now.