DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
May 8 2009

Tools of the Trade

by Lesley B

scraper-003b We use a fair amount of stickers at the library and I was picking at an old one with my fingernails when a co-worker handed me a little tool and said, “Here, use this. It’s a label-scraper.” What appeared to be a tiny spatula was placed in my hand. Despite working in libraries my whole life, I’d never seen one before. A gentle push under the paper and the sticker came off with that quiet satisfaction you get when a tool works exactly right. I love them. Lately I’ve been wishing I had one at home, but you won’t find label scrapers at the big office supply stores. I’ve looked. You need the special to-the-trade catalogs; specifically, the Demco catalog. Actually Demco calls it a “Metal Label Peeler”, but it’s still a very small “blade sharpened on three sides for easy operation.” I’m thinking about ordering the set of five and giving some as gifts. No, really. It’s a great tool.

There are a number of companies catering to the library market and you don’t have to be a librarian to order from them. They offer archival storage products, lots of sturdy kid-sized furniture and those little metal bookends that don’t take up much space on the shelf. I know no one is shopping right now, but there are quite a few library products that I think could easily transfer to civilian life. Like to keep your dust jackets looking like new? Brodart sells book jacket covers to fit even the largest art books.  Highsmith has reusable magnetic shelf labels, just the thing to organize the garage. Gaylord has a cool orange book truck and oh, look  — a “Label Remover“. In packs of 24!  Christmas is done.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nolan R May 8, 2009 at 11:04 AM

You can also order card catalogs, but they are pricey ($800 and up)!

My favorite library item to use at home is the Kik-Step stool. We have an ancient one that we use in the kitchen. They roll, they stop, they come in really cool colors! They even come in stainless steel (for the modern kitchen or library?). You can find them at Demco, etc. but here is a link to the company itself: http://www.kikstep.com/

This one is the 50th anniversary edition and would make a great gift for book lovers–it has literary quotes molded into the top tread! http://www.kikstep.com/50years/

Veronica W. May 13, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Speaking of tools, many moons ago I heard a very fancy name for a staple remover. I think it began with an “e.” Since then I have tried and tried to find out the word…to no avail. Is anyone out there smarter than…?

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