This month, the 1091 Project takes a quick peek at one aspect of departmental culture in the conservation labs of Iowa State University Library and Duke University Libraries.  To celebrate the end of each Fall semester, ISU Preservation Department holds a “staff development day.”  The staff vote on a type of project or handskill to work on during the day-long workshop, we gather our resources, and then have at it.  This year, we decided to take our theme from the discussion/debate arising from a recent blog post, and settled on upcycling discarded paper-based materials such as books, dust-jackets, magazines, and maps.  Preservation Assistant Mindy McCoy created this Pinterest board full of project ideas to inspire and instruct us.

A bookcart overflowing with craft supplies and materials to be "upcycled."

A bookcart overflowing with craft supplies and materials to be “upcycled.”

Lori meticulously cut strips from pages of children's books which she will later fold, chain together, and weave into a basket.

Lori, from Digital Initiatives, meticulously cut strips from pages of children’s books which she will later fold, chain together, and weave into a basket.

One popular project several of us tried was building a gift topper bow out of strips of paper secured with double-sided tape.  Pictured here are bows made from dust-jackets from architecture coffee table books, a map, and pages from a Russian dictionary.

One popular project several of us tried was building a gift topper bow out of strips of paper secured with double-sided tape. Pictured here are bows made from dust-jackets from architecture coffee table books, a map, and pages from a Russian dictionary.

Conservation Technician Mindy Moe turned a gift topper bow into an ornament.

Conservation Technician Mindy Moe turned a gift topper bow into an ornament with a button, ribbon, hot glue, and a little ingenuity.

Our conservation volunteer Martha went big!  She rolled maps into a sunburst around a decorative mirror.

Our conservation volunteer Martha went big! She rolled maps into a sunburst around a decorative mirror.

Jim, from Preservation Services, turned a book about fish into a beautiful sculpture.

Jim, from Preservation Services, turned a book about fish into a 3D sculpture.

Jim also created this tribute to his friend's dog Floyd, who has since moved on to that great dog kennel in the sky, but not before chewing up this case binding.

Jim also created this tribute to his friend’s dog Floyd, who has since moved on to that great dog kennel in the sky, but not before chewing up this case binding.

Now let’s see how they’re observing the end of the semester and the approach of the winter holidays over at Preservation Underground!

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