Advanced Binding Library Exchange (ABLE™)
The Library of Congress uses an automated binding preparation system to prepare monographs and serials for commercial binding and to quickly and accurately communicate information to the commercial bindery. The system interfaces with Voyager (ILS) to retrieve bibliographic data for monographs and is a database for serial item retrieval.
Since the 1980s, the Library has used the Library Automated Retrieval System (LARS), which was badly outdated and costly to maintain. Binding vendors had jointly developed the web-based Advanced Binding Library Exchange (ABLE) that could support the needs of a variety of vendors and libraries, but the new system required certain enhancements before it could be used at the Library.
ABLE vendors agreed to support one version with the Library’s requested enhancements. The development of the enhancements was a collaboration among the Library's technical team and binding stakeholders, and the binding vendors and software developer. The Library of Congress now uses this version of ABLE, but the enhancements are optional for other users.
Lot Dialog Window: new read-only fields that display shipment information for lots that are part of a shipment; Lot Style combo selection box for selecting styles; rename button that allows administrators to rename a Lot ID.
ABLE Data Export: allows user to export shipments or lots to an XML or a CSV file; new feature allows export of lots by workgroup.
Reports Dialog: allows user to filter the Lot Item report by shipment dates, shipment IDs, or lot IDs.
Lot Status Dialog: new columns for dates and workgroups; capability to filter lots by various criteria; status change feature; delete capability.
Instructional Dialog: redesign contains pre-defined lists of instructions for the bindery and temporary instructions; available tab for internal library instructional use.
Bindery Transfer Window: modified to replace binder and lot ID with shipment number and date; new features so administrators can create a shipment using the Create Shipment button or modify an existing shipment using the Modify Shipment button; window allows administrators to print a PDF transmittal form for documentation.
Main Title Screen: new Issues edit box; new Title Keyword search option; new format dropdown list that allows for the changing of formats while retaining bibliographic data.
- Users Guide for ABLE™ Library [PDF, 386 KB / 11 pp.]
The Library Binding Section (LBS) and Collections Care Section (CCS) in the Binding and Collections Care Division (BCCD) assist the Law Library in the care of its collections through library binding, collections conservation treatment, and by providing custom protective enclosures.
The Law Library is the custodial service unit for all materials held at the Library of Congress that class in J1-J15, JX1-JX1305, JX2000-JX9999, K, or “LAW”, no matter the format of the material. The collection includes bound volumes, loose periodical and serial issues, microfiche, microfilm, diskettes, CDs, and rare and special collection material. As a result, the preservation needs of the Law Library are vast and varied.
Unbound serials and monographs need binding, both to protect them on the shelves and to facilitate the user experience. The Law Library collaborates with LBS to address the library or commercial binding needs of these items. Law Library staff and contractors internally prepare unbound serial issues for library binding, while LBS staff provide monographic binding preparation, technical support, supplies for labeling and binding preparation, procedural guidance, training, and quality assurance in support of the Law Library commercial binding activities. In FY 2008, through the support services of the LBS, 13,134 Law serials were commercially bound. Thus far in FY 2009, 10,404 Law serials have been commercially bound.
Rare volumes in the Law Library require exquisite care and expert conservation treatment, as do items in the reference and general collections. The Law Library routes damaged materials from its reference and general collections to CCS for collections conservation treatment and custom enclosures. Books that are in a special format or extremely brittle are sent to CCS to be measured and housed in custom-sized boxes or other protective enclosures. Heavily used reference and general collection items are sent to CCS for collections conservation treatment, where, batched with items with similar problems, they are treated using sound conservation principles and with an emphasis on production and the timely turnaround of materials.
The Law Library utilizes other reformatting and preventive services provided by the Preservation Directorate. Incoming newsprint items are collated for microfilming and sent to Preservation Reformatting Division for preservation microfilming. Acidic books are deacidified via the Library’s Mass Deacidification Program, which strives to preemptively save endangered, "at risk" books and other paper-based materials that are central to the Library’s mission. The Preservation Directorate’s variety of conservation and preservation services ensure that the collections of the Law Library will exist for centuries to come, allowing the Law Library to fulfill its mission to the Congress, the Courts, the Executive Branch, and to the American public.