Campaign update

Welcome to Senate House Library's Help Stop Book Damage Campaign page. The first year of the campaign was a success and has significantly reduced the number of damaged books. Thank you for supporting our campaign, the Library, and taking care of our books!

Treating our materials with consideration means that other readers can use and enjoy them in the years ahead.

Our message for the coming years is: keep up the good work and help us keep these numbers low.

Number of repaired books:

The Campaign started in 2018 - since then 300 less books have needed repairing!

  • 2045 : 2017
  • 1878 : 2018
  • 1904 : 2019

Types of book damage

Many types of book damage are easily avoidable. You can, for example, use scrap paper to mark your place in a book or to take notes. If you don't have a notebook or scrap paper available we can provide scrap paper at the main service desk. If you notice that a book is damaged, bring it to the attention of staff so that we can set it aside for repairs.

Highlighting, underlining and making notes in pen or pencil

This kind of damage makes it difficult for people with a visual impairment to use visual reading aid software. It creates a problem for anyone wishing to photocopy sections of a book. It is so distracting that anyone will find it harder to read the text.

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Bending corners, food and drink stains

Stains and folds shorten the life of books, which can lead to items being removed from the Collections. To avoid damage like this please take your coffee breaks outside of the Library.

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Attaching Post-It notes to pages or using adhesive tape

Removal of Post-It notes can tear brittle paper and it takes up valuable staff time. Adhesive tapes can also cause irreversible damage.

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Library Regulations, fines and charges for damage to items

We reserve the right to charge our borrowers for defacing our materials and we have started to implement this policy more rigorously in recent months. If you wish to see more on related Senate House Library policies and regulations, please read the Library Regulations or go to the fines and charges page.