Removing Library Marks


I’m having difficulty removing old library marks successfully. (I work at a library, so I have a plethora of discards to practice on.) No matter what I try, it ends up damaging the fibers of the paper so much that you can still see the shape of where the letters used to be after scraping them off. I’ve used different kinds of knives of various degrees of sharpness. I’ve tried this on many different books, so there has been a whole range of different types of paper. Either the ink won’t come off at all, or I end up doing more harm than good. Am I missing something here that isn’t explained fully in the course?

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User Avatar Posted by (Questions: 17, Answers: 11)
Asked on September 13, 2019 10:41 pm
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Hi Sarah,

For the success of every library stamp removal we are limited by the thickness of the paper and the depth of the ink. I could say "Results will vary" but no matter what, we are removing the fibers with ink on them and that does leave an indentation at least. Smoothing out the indentations with sanding and rubbing with waxed paper helps but ultimately it cannot be invisible. I think that the techniques can make it look better than it was.

One time I was working on a book with very thin pages and I made the mistake of trying to paint over the stamp since scraping it off was not going to work. That was a disaster! I wound up literally tearing the stamp out of the book and repairing the now torn page (with permission from the owner). It was easier to match the page in that case.

Whatever you do, don't be tempted into thinking that bleach is the solution because unless you remove the page entirely so that you can wash out the bleach, the acid will turn the area brown and brittle eventually.

Did that answer it? If you send a photo or two I may be able to help more.


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User Avatar Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 276)
Answered on September 14, 2019 11:48 pm