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Preservation at Northern: Sending Books to Repair

This guide provides links and materials regarding collection preservation and repairs at NIU's University Libraries.

Contact Information

Who To Contact for Repairs


Paper and Paper-Adjacent Materials

Technical Services

Location: Founders Memorial 71S

Phone: 815-753-0528

Rare Books and Special Collections

Rare Books and Special Collections

Location: Founders Memorial 403

Phone: 815-753-9838



Staff might change over the course of time, so this guide will not list specific people to contact.

When Books DO NOT Need Repair

When a Book Doesn't Look Perfect,

but Doesn't Need Repair


  • Slightly frayed tops of spines but book is still intact and strong 
  • Corners are only slightly worn
  • Books look repaired but are sound
  • Pages are folded and dog-eared

What Not to Do

What Not to Do for Damaged Books

DO NOT use tape to correct torn pages.

Repeat: DO NOT use any form of tape, adhesive, or plastic to correct anything on a book

Do not use tape on any part of a book. When attaching information to an object, use a piece of paper as a bookmark, or a short-term post-it style note.


Examples of Types of Repairs

Here are some examples of the sorts of repairs Technical Services can undertake.

Spines are torn or falling off:

These book can have their spines re-affixed.


Covers are falling off:

These covers can be pasted back down.

Pages are torn, loose or missing:

These pages can be glued back in place, "tipped" in, or otherwise re-affixed.



Hinges are torn or loose:

These hinges can be re-secured.


Contents are loose, super is torn and book is separated from cover:

The text block can be re-affixed to the cover.

Cover is splitting at corners, very dirty, etc.:

This cover can be cleaned and even re-covered.

Insect, mold, water damage:

Mold is particularly important to catch as mold can spread to the rest of the collection!

Mold can be killed and cleaned. Insects can be removed.

Brittle pages:

These can be tipped in or re-hinged to prevent loss.

Broken back:

This can be resecured.

Misshapen books:

While more difficult, many misshapen books can be reformed.