Category Archives: Librarian Woes

Librarian Woes

Welcome to a new thing! This may or may not become a reoccurring feature, but I wanted to get something off my chest. So here is a space for highlighting stuff librarians hate.

Yes. I am going to pretend that I speak for all librarians.

I bet in this instance I do.

My current librarian woe involves a new trend in book design. A lot (and I mean a lot) of publishers are now doing this thing with their hardcovers where the dust jacket is see-through and covers up some cool design printed on the cover of the book.

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(pictures don’t quite get the effect, but these are all recent overlay covers.)

Eyecatching? Maybe.

But when it comes to covering these suckers, I am losing my damn mind.

We have a book distributor that sends us our books already processedĀ in plastic jackets. Occasionally certain books are not in plastic jackets, and usually that’s fine. It takes me like 30 seconds to pop on a cover protector.

Except with these damn books.

Because of the see-through designs, I can’t use our book jackets the way I am supposed to. They have white paper backings that cover up the whole book–not normally an issue with a regular dust jacket. But for these I have to tear away the white paper backing and work only with the plastic. Cumbersome, but okay, this is fine.

But thenĀ the damn white paper never comes completely off. It is impossible to get it all off. It leaves a really sloppy white border around the top of all of these books.

And then the covers don’t fit right anyway. Because the see-through plastic of the dust jackets is heavier, it doesn’t wrap around the book properly, and it doesn’t tape neatly either. It always bulges out in weird places.

So on the library shelves these books look cheap and messy, and I’ve torn out half of my hair to even get them to that state.

I can’t imagine them looking all that great on people’s shelves without plastic cover protectors, either. Because the dust jackets don’t fit. Hello, massive pet peeve of mine.

tl; dr: publishers, why are you doing this? Stop. This is a trend that needs to die.

(Counterpoint arguments? Is it possible that I don’t speak for all librarians? Let me know in the comments!)

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