Transforming the way we do business!
Located at the Berkeley campus, UC Library Bindery serves all ten University of California campuses.
The UC Library Bindery was established as a department of the University of California in
1908. Over the years, the department has made changes to keep pace with the continued
growth and evolving needs of University of California library collections.
Since July 2011, the Library Bindery has been undergoing a radical operational redesign to
ensure its relevance and value to the University of California libraries and campus community.
Doe Memorial Library
Library Bindery’s redesign initiatives followed the tenants of Lean process
improvement methodologies; removing waste from its systems to create value for its
customers, engaging its staff by emphasizing their importance, and investing in staff
The result of this collective effort is retention of high quality products and significantly
improved financial health.
The operational redesign began at the heart of the operation;
how books are bound. Customers and staff participated in
developing new criteria for bookbinding based upon proven
industry standards. This resulted in a shift toward a higher
percentage of books successfully being bound on the automated
Why the shift? With the same cost input, adhesive binding
results in more than twice the output without any reduction in
quality and durability.
Our customers benefitted from this change and the associated
Hailing preparing books for binding
Adhesive bound books finish trimmed prior to cover application
Journals loading into the adhesive binder
Improving quality control through process analysis and process change.
Finished books ready for final inspection Somchanh inspecting books for errors
Spot inspection of final product In-station quality inspection throughout production line.
Rework processed with minimal attention to root cause
Regular staff analysis of customer returns and systematic error
tracking establish a new performance benchmark the shop will
monitor going forward. Between January 1, 2013 and May 1, 2013,
out of 27,438 items completed, 42 items were returned with errors,
establishing a non-defect return rate of 99.85% as the new standard
to meet or exceed.
Cursory assessment of staff performance with minimal
utilization of production data to provide objective analysis.
Performance management program initiated providing all staff their
production data with which to assess their performance, set targets
for improvement, and develop a plan for skill development.
Library Bindery staff’s dedication and hard work has made all of this possible. Staff are motivated to
develop specific skills for professional development, which benefits the operation.
Staff have demonstrated commitment to the operation’s success by volunteering to work a second shift
assignment on a rotating basis. This has resulted in a 20% increase in productivity while increasing
direct labor costs by only 1.5% .
Additionally, staff have embraced the opportunity to lead operations thereby developing their leadership
Library Bindery continues to look to the future and develop conservation and digitization
services creating growth opportunities for staff. The opportunity to integrate digitization into
the binding process will allow Library Bindery to be a full service provider.
Library Bindery staff tour the Conservation Lab in the Doe Library. Library Bindery staff learning the workings of a cradle book
Other established customers include:
California Office of State Publishing
We are pursuing new partnerships with:
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
San Francisco Public Library
For over 100 years, the Library Bindery has maintained a tradition of excellent service preserving the treasures
housed in the University of California library collections.
Our nimbleness, ability to adapt to the changing needs of our customers, skilled staff, and forward thinking
position the Library Bindery to be a relevant business partner of the UC system for years to come.