Gary Frost wins the Banks/Harris Preservation Award

Contact: Charles Wilt

Executive Director, ALCTS

For Immediate Release

March 14, 2006

Gary Frost wins the Banks/Harris Preservation Award

CHICAGO—The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is pleased to announce that Gary Frost has won the Banks/Harris Preservation Award.

Gary L. Frost, conservator at the University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, and instructor at the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science and at the Iowa Center for the Book is the recipient of the 2006 Paul Banks & Carolyn Harris Preservation Award. The award is sponsored by Preservation Technologies, L.P. and includes $1,500 and a citation.

Frost’s ongoing and detailed research into historical and modern book structures has resulted in cut-away models that reflect bookbinding from many different eras as well as geographical locations. He developed an Ethiopian binding kit to provide preservation and book arts instructors with an affordable way to allow students to sew a book model representing an early binding technique. From his research into modern inexpensive paperbacks he developed the “sewn boards binding,” a modern adaptation of an ancient design that now is used in conservation labs across the country. While at BookLab, he changed the way libraries looked at vendor services and developed efficient, cost-effective treatments for circulating collections. He also created a functional and economical cloth for rebacking nineteenth century publishers’ bindings.

Frost’s professional career began after he completed a master’s of fine arts at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1969. That year he joined the staff of the Newberry Library under the supervision of Paul Banks and Norvell Jones. When he left the Newberry in 1981, he was managing the conservation program. Beginning his formal teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1972, Frost has served as a role model for a generation of conservators and preservation librarians. He joined the faculty of the School of Library Service at Columbia University in the Preservation/Conservation training program founded by Paul Banks in 1981. In 1983, he helped begin the Book and Paper Intensive (PBI) and still serves PBI as an advisor and teacher. The Preservation/Conservation training program moved to the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and Frost joined the faculty from 1992 to 1999.

As a writer and thinker, Frost’s numerous publications range from the theoretical to the practical. His classic publications include “A Brief History of Western Bookbinding without One Mention of Decoration,” “Historical Paper Case Binding and Conservation Rebinding,” “Structure and Action in Hand Bookbinding,” and “Digital Preservation in the Context of Changing Reading Behaviors and Reading Methods.” He also writes on a range of related topics on his Weblog,, which began in 2000.

The Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award honors the memories of Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris, early leaders in library preservation, teachers, and mentors for many in the field of preservation.

The award will be presented on Sunday, June 25, 2006, at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony and Membership Meeting during the 2006 American Library Association (ALA) meeting in New Orleans.

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services. Areas of concentration of ALCTS members include acquisition, cataloging, collection development, preservation, and archiving of all library materials in all formats as well as serial collection management.

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.