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We've discussed and defined the types of bindings available in the past,
but I would like to throw out this question for discussion:

Should (or shouldn't) a publisher who SPECIFICALLY publishes texts for
school libraries be obliged to offer the line in a good "library" binding?

I realize that the books MIGHT cost more, perhaps a $1 or $2 each, but when
I pay $15+ for a book that comes back damaged after just one checkout, I
would prefer to pay $16 or $17 and not have to repair the book immediately
and continually.

Although the better binding SHOULD theoretically cost more, they often
don't. I've checked the Bound-to-Stay bound or Mook & Blanchard catalog,
and quite frequently their library bindings ("prebinds") cost LESS than the
suggested retail price. I've also noticed in review journals that prices
for the book will often be given for both a trade version and a library
binding, and the better binding is about the same or even slightly less.

I always read the publisher's catalog carefully and review the binding
warranty or statement. However, if the quality of the books' content is
well-reviewed, and the reading level suits the needs of the students at the
grade level that the subject corresponds to, and if nothing else available
fills the need as satisfactorily, what should I do?

As Shakespeare's librarian might have put it, "To buy, or not to buy, that
is the question!"

What sayest thou, oh wise ones?

Joanne Ladewig
Information Center Director
Fairgrove Academy - a K-8 public school focusing on
   the Visual and Performing Arts, and Technology
La Puente, CA
or:  shatz@lightside.com

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