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Housing Options for Collections: CoLibri

Instructions and guidelines for requesting housings from Collections Conservation and Housings

The CoLibri Covering System

CoLibri is a commercial book covering system commonly used in libraries to create custom-fitted polyethylene book covers to protect and preserve paperback, hardcover, and/or red rotted leather bindings. This system requires a special CoLibri welding machine that heat-seals and trims the CoLibri covers together around the book (see Fig. 1).       

​CoLibri covers are:

  • Most often used by CCH to secure publisher's jackets over contemporary hardcover books.
  • Made from durable, non-toxic, water resistant, and 100% recyclable polyethylene material.
  • Transparent and flexible, and can be easily removed or replaced without damaging the book.
  • Available in three standard sizes that can be adjusted to fit a wide range of books.   

                                          Fig 1. - A standard CoLibri welding machine. Illustration by Jake Shonborn.

Constructing Colibri Covers

Step 1
  • Choose a standard sized CoLibri cover that is slightly larger than the size of the book.
  • Insert the back book cover into the right sleeve of the CoLibri cover, and align the bottom edge of the book with the bottom of the sleeve.
  • Slide the excess sleeve material under the sealing bar and align the top of the book with the welding line (illustrated by the green box).
  • Hold down the levers on the sealing bar to weld and trim off the excess sleeve material.




Step 2
  • Following the procedure in Step 1, weld and trim the excess sleeve material at the book's fore-edge.










Step 3
  • Carefully open the book to insert the front cover into the left CoLibri sleeve. 
  • Weld and trim the remaining side edge.