A very small exhibit at University of London’s Senate House Library drew my attention … the instructions are dated 27 September 1937 …
|Senate House Library|
Having got waylaid with my ‘Heads in the City’, and now this small display case of instructions … I’ll get to the main reason for visiting the Library shortly!
|Bumblebee carrying pollen -|
its sweets ...
I love the quote:
“We should make the same use of a Book that the Bee does of a Flower; she steals sweets from it, but does not injure it.”
|The instructions - sorry slightly|
out of focus ...
… while here are the instructions (1937) to library readers (which I hope you’ll also read fully from the photo) for ensuring a new book, or any book is not damaged:
First – how to open a new book … so the spine will not be damaged – i.e. will be bent evenly at all points; handle it gently, do not force it …
Second – on turning pages: do not wet fingers …
Third – suitable book marks are slips of paper: corners should not be turned down, nor should books be laid face down …
Fourth – if there are pages still bound together … use a thin paper knife working in a zig-zag motion. Do not use fingers, pocket knife, or other unsuitable substitutes …
|Antigone and Creon|
(I can see what the Librarian thinks of this -
it's in the display!)
Fifth – books must not be disfigured by readers’ annotations or underscoring. Also do not lay paper on book to write your notes.
Sixth – it is a reader’s duty to protect the books he uses: the next user will then also enjoy the clean, fresh copy.
|Highlighting and thus|
Then comes the quote – it’s a delight isn’t it …
... while the instructions haven’t changed much, and still will apply to vintage or ancient books usually found in libraries, though some of us will have a few at home too –
|Books with library's call numbers|
on the spine
- protect our books, they are treasures of the mind, as well as for the future.
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