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Earlier this month news agencies around the world began releasing stories based on the largest leak of documents ever, the Panama Papers ( The data visualization tool that  journalists used to uncover connections between people, accounts, shell companies, and assets in this massive data set originated at the Humanities + Design ( research lab in Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis ( — a product of humanities thinking applied to network analysis.

Caleb Cochran and Lucy Castro are Library Specialists in Binding and Finishing.

Our Preservation Week posts continue today with Lucy Castro and Caleb Cochran from the Binding and Finishing unit. Our Binding and Finishing team prepares the general collection print and media materials for shelving, reformatting, and commercial bindery. Their work helps prolong the useful life of our circulating collections.

For more information about Preservation Week including resources, quick tips, and free webinars visit the American Library Association’s Preservation Week site. " title="<--break-->" class="mceItem">

Lucy Castro has worked as a Library Specialist in Bindery Preparation for fourteen years.

Tell us about your work, Lucy.

The materials we receive every day come from different libraries around campus. We process them using a computer program called Advanced Bindery Library Exchange (ABLE) to send for commercial library binding outside campus. We also resolve other problems with materials through conversation with our binders and Conservation Services for treatments to make them more durable.

What is your favorite book/item to come across your bench in the past year?

The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca 

With so much change in preservation in the last two years, what has been fun and/or challenging?

The changes are good, but the challenge is maintaining high productivity and quality on time.

Has your work in Preservation influenced your life outside of work?

Of course, one of my hobbies is painting. I am more interested in studying to develop my abilities and also studying new languages like Italian and German.

Why did you decide to go into this field?

I enjoy working with books, helping people in general with the research information they need, and working with co-workers that are interested in books. Working at Stanford University Libraries, I am always learning and enriched by the innovative ideas of writers and the technology resources for libraries.

Can you recommend some books/websites/articles on your field?

I recommend this interesting website on Wiblingen Monastery. The monastery has a Rococo style library and a Baroque style church with a museum. It is a “place for preserving treasures of wisdom and science.” I would like to visit this site in the future.


Caleb Cochran is one of four Library Specialists in the End Processing unit of Binding and Finishing.

Tell us about your work, Caleb.

I do what is known as End Processing which mainly consists of call number labeling, edge stamping, bookplating and placing date due stickers on the books. It can and does get more involved and complicated than that a lot of the time, but this is the basic breakdown of End Processing. I also handle the label requests from different libraries for call number labels, barcode duplicates and/or date due stickers. Another thing I do is count and sort the books that come in from the cataloging departments and the Green Library mailroom. This can range upwards of 1200 books in a single day.

What is your favorite book/item to come across your bench in the past year?

Although the books that come in for the Art & Architecture Library can be quite interesting and pretty to look at, I think the books about astronomy are the most fascinating to me. Learning about our galaxy and all of the other galaxies out there in the universe peaks my interest the most. Are we really the only planet to have life or are there more that we just don’t know about? I don’t know the names of any one specific book, but I do know they are mostly going to the Engineering Library with a handful going to Cubberley Education Library.

With so much change in Preservation in the last two years, what has been fun and/or challenging?

I would have to say the most challenging thing to happen would be the move from Meyer Library to Lathrop Library. The planning of the space, trying to figure out where everyone is going to sit in a way that makes sense to our workflow (which also had to change because of the layout in our new area is different), to packing everything up and figuring out what stuff we’re bringing over versus what we don’t need/can’t fit, along with keeping up with the regular B&F duties. Then having to unpack everything and figure out where to put it all. I would say though that going around Lathrop and finding all the little passageways that lead to a bunch of different areas was pretty fun. It’s fairly easy to get lost in this building if you don’t know your way around.

What parts of the library do you wish you knew more about?

I do wish I knew more about the book cataloging side of the library. I’d like to know how they know what info gets put in what fields and where they get that info from in the first place. Or even after the book leaves B&F, what do the different libraries do with the book before it gets put on the shelf? Maybe that way I could make better decisions on how I approach books that have special needs.

What is something about your job we might be surprised to learn?

Honestly, I’m so surprised at how many books there still are out there because it feels like Stanford should have every single book in every single volume in every single language by now. I mean the amount of books I see and process on the daily that come through B&F just makes me wonder how there can be so many books in the world. I would think in this day and age everyone would just Wiki everything or get it from somewhere on the Internet. (Anyone remember the Google project)?

Monique Murphy, Operations Manager, Preservation Department

This week, libraries around the country will share preservation tips and stories for the American Library Association’s annual Preservation Week. You can find preservation resources, quick tips, and free webinars on the Preservation Week site covering the spectrum of collection care from textiles to personal digital archives. We will spend this week meeting some of the people that support preservation and conservation activities across Stanford Libraries. Team members from Preservation, Digital Library Systems and Services, and Special Collections have answered five questions about themselves and their work on the long-term care of our books, archives, audio-visual resources, and born-digital files." title="<--break-->" class="mceItem">

We kick off Preservation Week with Monique Murphy, Operations Manager for the Preservation Department.

Tell us about your work:

As SUL Preservation department Operations Manager my work includes monitoring and reporting climate conditions in certain library collection areas.  These areas include SAL 1&2, the new Bowes Art and Architecture Library, West Stacks in Green Library, the Field and Barchas rooms and other areas, on and off campus.  I collect and download temperature and humidity data from electronic loggers and generate monthly reports.  These reports are shared with Facilities and other collection specific managers with recommendations for climate adjustments when necessary. 

I perform quarterly pest inspections in East Asia Library, SAL 1&2, Lathrop Library and other areas where special and other collections are held.  These quarterly pest inspections assist in ensuring SUL collections are clean, dry and free of rodents and insects like silverfish, psocids, and beetles.  The pest control aspect of the work also includes freezing books in which evidence of insect habitation is present.

Preservation work also includes assisting with emergency preparedness and response.  We provide supplies like absorbent pillows and plastic sheeting, flashlights, duct tape, fans and dehumidifiers.  We respond when water pipes leak, flooding occurs and when conditions threaten to, or are in the process of, damaging SUL collections.

When not monitoring or inspecting I support the Preservation department by managing a large number of orders for equipment, materials and supplies necessary for the preservation, conservation and binding and finishing of collection materials.

What parts of the library do you wish you knew more about?  I’d like to learn more about the processes for acquiring special collections.

Do you have a favorite tool or piece of equipment?  My favorite tool is a simple lighted magnifier which enables me to identify tiny insects found in pest traps and in books that come in for freezer treatment.

What is something about your job we would be surprised to learn?  You’d be surprised to know how many insects lived in the Harold A. Miller library (Hopkins) when I started working for SUL over five years ago!

Can you recommended a book/websites/article about your field?  For more information on collection preservation, see Preservation at the Library of Congress and Book Preservation at the Art Institue of Chicago


Chemists Celebrate Earth Day logo

The latest news from the Swain Library covers the following topics:

  • Catalysis Resources
  • Keep Current with journal literature
  • Green Pocketbook
  • Chemists Celebrate Earth Day - The Great Indoors: Your Homes Ecosystem
  • Household Products Database

Aimed at providing news as quick info bytes, each topic is covered in a PowerPoint slide.   This format enables us to easily re-use this content in a digital sign at the library.  Please see: Swain Library News - 22 April 2016

Happy Earth Day 2016!

Nerd Squirrel image

This month, Stanford Libraries posted two new videos on its YouTube channel. They are targeted for new undergraduate students, and have been introduced this term to the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) students, who come to the library for workshops on information literacy. These videos are part of the department of Learning and Outreach's effort to "flip the classroom".

For your browsing pleasure, here are the Spring 2016 highlights of newly acquired collections available at the Archive of Recorded Sound.

Breviary, with neumes. Detail from Stanford Digital Repository.

These titles have recently been added to the Music Library Reference Room.  In no particular order:


Historical dictionary of the Broadway musical / William A. Everett, Paul R. Laird.

Bibliothecae apostolicae vaticanae corpus manuscriptorum musicalium / curantibus Rita Andolina, Susanna Greco. Vol. 2::1-4. Catalogo ragionato delle composizioni di Lorenzo Perosi (1872-1956) : con esempi musicali originali / Arturo Sacchetti. 

International who's who in classical music. 31st ed. (2015)

International who's who in popular music. 17th ed. (2015)

moonlight over river Thames“And place is always and only place,” writes T.S. Eliot. Is that true? Or is place rather the sum of human experience at a location—“the meeting up of histories” as geographer Doreen Massey has suggested? Does place in literature matter? The truth, usually, is simply that we don’t know.  When we read a place name in a text, when we learn that a writer worked at a certain address, we read on—because how much do we know of all these places?