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Free estimates for book repairs will be given at library next week

POSTED: April 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.

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Book lovers who want to bring new life to their favorite dog-eared copies can get free estimates for repairs at Bible and Old Book Repair Day set for Tuesday at the Hall County Library System’s headquarters.

The expert, Jack Kyle, will be available from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Headquarters Branch at 127 Main St. NW.

Ronda Sanders, a library assistant who organizes the book repair program, said the library has been holding it once a year for 35 years. She said the program was started after library patrons began talking about trying to keep their family Bible, which often contain generations of family history, in good condition.

Kyle is a book binder who retired from the National Library Bindery Co. of Georgia after working full time for 43 years. Kyle began working for the company at age 18, learning on the job and eventually becoming a salesman. He spent his last 28 years with the company as a salesman, traveling to libraries in several states. Including the years spent "in retirement," doing projects such as the Hall library’s repair day, Kyle said he has worked with the company for 55 years.

He has been providing the repair estimates for the Hall repair day for the past several years. His wife accompanies him, taking down addresses, phone numbers and other information.

He continues his one-time profession as a hobby because of a love of books, he said.

"It’s a fun thing to do," he said. "I just like just being able to preserve things for people."

Kyle said Bibles are the books most often brought in, but his company also has done repair and binding on Guttenburg Bibles, family photo albums, Civil War books and other unusual items.

Sanders said a variety of books usually are brought in to the Hall library’s repair day, ranging from Bibles needing repair to copies of magazines to be bound in a volume.

"One time, a church even brought in their hymnals and had all those rebound," she said.

No repairs are done at the library. Only free estimates are given — which can range from $45 for a new imitation leather cover for a small Bible to $125 and up for repairs to a large Bible — and the book is taken to the bindery company for repairs. The books will be returned to the Hall County library headquarters in about two months for pick up.

Sanders said the library system will continue to offer the program because of its popularity.



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