A huge thank you to all of you who responded to my question about laminating book covers. I think my Finance Dept was just trying to play devil's advocate in asking why we can't just laminate the covers. Keeping the costs down is their job, so I get it. Anyway, it looks like this will be a go!
I wanted to post the responses I got in case anyone else is in a similar predicament. I included the original post and then the responses follow:
I am needing justification on purchasing mylar book jacket covers. To import them into China from Demco (USA), it isn't cheap. Books are quite pricey as well, so I want to protect them as much as possible. Finance wants to know why I can't just laminate the covers.
So, I am compiling reasons why I need the mylar jackets. So far, I have:
--mylar jackets can be replaced if torn or dirty
--mylar jackets look nicer/cleaner
--mylar jackets bend easily around the shape of the book
What else? Is there some reason a hot or cold laminator might not be good for the book?
Thanks for any help you can give!
Mylar lasts best and longest. Laminating just doesn't last long enough.
Some books don't come with jackets, and you can't put the whole book in the laminator....
Years ago I tried laminating the book jackets as well. If any are left on the shelves, I could go back and show you them today. Once laminated the jackets do not conform to the contours of the book. It did not take me long to realize having the jackets literally stick out from the book itself were not beneficial to protecting the books. Kids were also more prone to catch the jackets on things in their desks and bookbags and tear them off.
Whenever possible, I go ahead and get the jackets laminated from the vendor...though this actually depends on the vendor. Bound To Stay Bound has done the best (in my opinion) job of laminating their jackets. I have ordered some books with "laminated" covers from vendors I typically don't use and they came in with an acetate film that was so horrible I had to pull them all off.
Several years ago we came across that same request/argument. We caved and laminated covers for a short period. What we found is that the laminated covers start peeling and unraveling very quickly. Also, once that happens it is difficult to get the book covers looking nice again and the have very obvious repairs on the front cover. Also, once the laminate starts coming off dirt gets into the crevices and is even harder to clean. It ended up being too much of a hassle and took far more of my time to repair than was worth it. Since my time is more expensive than mylar covers, we went back to those.
I have another few reasons: for one, if the laminator is not operated correctly, the book jacket can come out badly wrinkled or can peel away from the plastic wrap, pulling much of the jacket's color with it. Either way, the book jacket will be ruined.
And your finance department also needs to understand that kids, by and large, choose a book based on cover appeal. They are more likely to choose and actually read a "pretty" book.
Explain that you have invested big sums of money to purchase your books and lovely, durable covers extend their shelf-lives. Finally, investigate the cost of laminating versus Mylar covers per book; laminating might actually be more expensive. It is certainly much, much more time and labor intensive.
The mylar is much more flexible than lamination and molds to the book better. Mylar is like kevlar specufucally fir library books. It will hold up to hundreds of checkouts. A laminated book cover might last 2 or 3 checkouts at best, vefore the cover is torn, ripped from book or damages the book because of the amount of tape you would need to affix it to the book. Kids are hard on books.
The cold laminator doesn't last as long in my experience and it is harder to "fold" so it lies flat.
Thank you again--you guys are awesome!!!
Senior School Librarian and Head of Libraries
Dulwich College Suzhou
360 GangTian Rd., SIP
Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
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