Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Another endangered species …

… He Fixes the Cracked Spines of Books, Without an Understudy - The New York Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Donald Vass, who has spent the last 26 years mending and tending to books for the King County Public Library system here in the Seattle area, has seen both mechanical and human-inflicted damage and more. At 57 and with not many years left before retirement, he says he believes he will be the last full-time traditional bookbinder ever to take up shears, brushes and needles here. The skills take too long to learn, he said, and no one is being groomed to take his place in “the mendery,” Room 111 at the library’s central service center, where not so many years ago 10 people worked.

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