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Processing functions include making and affixing spine labels, adding barcode labels and inputting the barcode numbers to the database, inserting tattle-tapes, adding ownership stamps, inserting donor bookplates, applying pamphlet covers and acrylic covers to paperbacks, and reinforcing and mending material. Processing is done on all formats: books, journals, microforms, diskettes, CDs, videotapes, sound cassettes.

Processing of most new library materials is done by the Processing staff in Collection Services. When inputting the barcode number, staff also charge out each item so a message appears in the public catalogue indicating that the work is in transit. The receiving library then discharges the item on receipt. It can take more than a week for delivery to some of our libraries.

Shelf-Ready: In the summer of 1999, the McGill Library first contracted with Blackwell to process books purchased for the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (excluding those acquired via the approval plan). Since that time, the McGill Library has contracted with YBP Library Services and Coutts Information Services to process books purchased for all branch libraries and collections. These books come with LC or NLM call number spine labels, tattle tape, and ownership stamps. Barcoding is done in Collection Services.

Minor repairs and re-labelling are done both by Collection Services Processing staff and staff in individual libraries. The processing of new serial issues and serial bound volumes is done by each library. Processing of rare material is done in the relevant rare books unit.


Most binding of print library materials is outsourced to commercial binders. This involves selecting and collecting the items to be bound, choosing the type of binding, charging the item out on the McGill Library Catalogue, receiving material back and checking it, authorizing invoices for payment, discharging in the catalogue, completion of processing and distribution to the stacks of the appropriate library.

Serials and Monograph binding is done by Collection Services Processing staff. New serials are no longer bound.

Some binders used by the McGill Library:

  • Lehman Bookbinding Tel: 1-800-463-3573, Fax: 519-570-4452
  • Reliure PrĂ©fontaine-Cousineau Tel: 819-562-2842
  • There is also some in-house binding done using cardboard pamphlet covers, the unibind machine, ACCO binders, and acrylic covers.

    Written by: Joanna Andrews
    Last revised: Nov. 11, 2010