MAINTENANCE OF BOOKS
Books are the most vital and precious treasures for mankind. Books serve as best companion for people whenever they are alone. Maintenance of books is very important because termites and some more species of insects readily eat books. Mold growth due to damp conditions are also prone to reduce the life of books. Now there are preservatives available in the form of aerosol sprays. People were using natural insecticides as preservatives right from the days of palm scripts. Folding the corners may start tearing of pages. Using pen for marking may be responsible for the bleeding of the ink through the pages. Due to this, text and picture in the subsequent pages will lose clarity.
Insecticide sprays are difficult to apply in home libraries. Inhalation of the spray fumes in closed environment in homes may cause allergic reaction with some people. There are natural products that act as insecticides and preservatives for books. Liquid Germall Plus is water soluble preservative for oil in water water in oil emulsions, and water soluble formulations. This preservative act against gram positive gram negative bacteria, yeasts and molds. This preservative can be used as coating for book storage cabinets. Children and those with allergies can handle the books without any problem because of the non hazardous natural preservatives.
STORAGE METHODS AND PRESERVATION
Books should be preserved and stored in a place that is away from direct sunlight. Sunlight has a detrimental effect on the printing ink and paper. Dust accumulated in the storage place of books will also damage the books. It is preferable to store the books in glass covered storage cabinets. Humidity affects the books and the binding materials such as leather, plastic and vinyl. Books should be arranged vertically by keeping books of similar sizes in proximity. They should be never kept in untreated wooden storage cabinets that may release acidic vapours.
ADVANCED TECHNIQUES OF PRESERVATION
Latest technological innovations have made it possible to preserve the book using optical storage devices. Photostat copying again makes it difficult to preserve the copy carefully as the original printed book itself. When the books have to be preserved for years together, it is better to create copy of the book in microfilm format. There is still more advanced method of making the copy of the book in microfiche technique. Both these occupy a little space and it is easy to store the microfilm or microfiche that will serve as primary source of information for centuries together.