“A man will turn over half a library to make one book.” -Samuel Johnson
I have been making frequent stops at our local library the last 6 months. I’ve checked out many, many children’s books. When I see a book with wrinkled and torn up pages, I love thinking about how many little ones have shared the same experience of reading those same pages. Those books are like tough little soldiers, pressing forth, out and into the homes and hands of children all across my county.
I want to make sure when I print my book, it will be durable enough to withstand such battle and stand up to the quality worthy of the libraries. I’ve had a hard time finding any specific rules of thumb for library standards as far as physical quality, so I’m not sure if there are any.
The American Library Association has a nice article about Marketing to Libraries here: http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet05 They say, “Sturdy, better quality books are an important selling point to librarians who are interested in books lasting for more than a few borrowers. Also, books printed on acid-free (alkaline) paper are more desirable because pages printed on acid paper become too brittle to use after 50 to 100 years.” The whole idea of marketing to libraries is another can of worms we can discuss later though.
On a side note, the McMinnville Public Library of my hometown turned 100 this year! 100 years is a big deal for us West Coasters. But that’s right, in 1912, the Carnegie Foundation granted $10,000 to McMinnville for a library building. It has since expanded into a much bigger library, but the original building is still there. You can read more about it in a fun article from our local paper, the News Register. http://www.newsregister.com/article?articleTitle=berniece-owen-keeping-books-alive–1321055551–2020–viewpoints