\"The library wants members of the public to commemorate a person\'s birth year or celebrate a birth, wedding anniversary or retirement by adopting a tome. \"The expertise of Helen Shenton, director of conservation, and her team of 70 is internationally recognised, and they are frequently consulted on delicate book restorations. But they cannot afford to apply their skills fast enough to save many books in their own care.
\"The job is expanding constantly beyond our means,\" Ms Shenton said. \"The forecast death of the paper book with the coming of information technology was completely wrong. There have never been so many books being printed.\"
In the 1990s, in the scramble to get the library out of the British Museum and into the St Pancras building, all other budgets were slashed.