Today I went on a field trip with some of the girls from the law library to the Atlas Book Bindery (whose motto is 'Bound To Last', so funny). It was a really interesting trip, for a bunch of librarians anyways. First the woman showed us examples of all the different types of bindings (sewn, glued) and covers (leather, cloth) and graphics (silk screened, stamped). Then she gave us a tour of the 'factory'. It was like I imagined, mass chaos: books (in many different stages of processing) and boxes everywhere, noisy, warm and a bit chemically smelly. The whole process wasn't as mechanized as I though it would be. Machines of course did most of the work, but there was a lot of human manual labour involved. And there were so many steps! Sorting, ordering, binding, cutting, labeling, covering, and finally sticking it all together. Once again, it was just really interesting! Their servics seemed to be very in demand, but they had a small staff (although that is once again due to Alberta's labour shortage) which meant they were really behind. The amount of books that go through that place though, my goodness. I definitely was neat to go behind the scenes and see how it all happens, and it made me appreciate the effort that goes into each and every book on my shelf (and floor!) and in my libraries.
On another booky note, my June charity donation (yes, I'm a bit behind too) went to Eco-Libris. The concept is to balance out the environmental impact of the books you buy. You donate money per book and they plant a tree for you, mostly in South/Central America and Africa, where the biggest impact can be made. I think it's a brilliant idea. I like the thought of doing something little in order to make a big impact our environment.
Oh, and did you know, using a library is also environmentally friendly? Visit your local library today!