#LoveYourLibrary & Help Stop Book Damage

Welcome to Senate House Library #LoveYourLibrary Campaign. This project focuses attention on items that have been defaced in the hope of reducing the number of damaged books in the future. We would like to remind you that it is your responsibility to take care of our materials so that they may be enjoyed by other readers. 

The Collections at Senate House Library offer many unique and sometimes irreplaceble items, which we hope to keep in pristine condition.

By reducing the number of damaged books, we can allocate resources (used to repair them) for other purposes. Or, for example, instead of replacing damaged books we could buy approximately 120 more new items each year.

The Campaign includes publicity material to hightlight the issue, examples of defaced Library materials displayed in the Service Hall on the 4th floor of the Library, posters, and online information on the Library's website and on social media. We hope this campaign will help you to recognise the problem and suport us in keeping our Collections in excellent condition for future readers.

Some facts about preservation work

  • We repair about 175 books each month.
  • A total of 2239 books were repaired between September 2016 and September 2017.
  • The Collections mainly affected are: English (299 books repaired), History (201 books repaired) and Philosophy (155 books repaired) between August 2016 and July 2017.

The examples below illustrate common types of damage that can easily be avoided.

Highlighting, underlining and making notes in pen or pencil

This kind of damage makes it impossible for borrowers with visual impairment to use visual reading aid software with these texts. It makes text less clear when photocopying. Lastly, it also encourages other users to deface items. 


Bending corners, food and drink stains

Stains and folds shortens the life of books, which can lead to items being removed from the Collections. Food also smells, and attracts mice into the library.


Attaching Post-It notes to pages or using adhesive tape

Removal of Post-It notes can tear brittle paper and it takes valuable staff time. Adhesive tapes cause irreversible damage.


Library Regulations, fines and charges for damage to items

We reserve the right to charge our borrowers for defacing our materials and we have started to implement this policy more rigorously in recent months. If you wish to see more on related Senate House Library policies and regulations, please check the links below:

For information about the use of Library materials:

View Library Regulations

Further details about our lost books procedure:

See Fines and Charges

How do we expect you to treat our books? Here are the Library's own 'Instructions':

Care of books