the history of LBS
our proud heritage – celebrating 100-years in 2021!
Grover Hertzberg, who was 26 years old, was sent to Des Moines, Iowa to the Harris-Emery department store to display and sell leather bound books to the Des Moines market. During the display, Mr. Hertzberg was approached by a group of librarians representing the State Library, public libraries, and other important library collections. They suggested that Mr. Hertzberg start a branch of his bookbindery in Des Moines, IA. The year was 1920 and Grover and his brother Ernie were so excited by the idea that they built a new building in East Des Moines and were operating as a bindery in 1921. Both Grover and Ernie moved to Des Moines with their families. The bindery did very well and received contracts from the states surrounding Iowa. Unfortunately Grover died at the early age of 32 years. Ernie could not run the operation himself, so he asked if Fred James, Sr. and his son, Fred James, Jr. could come to Des Moines to help out. Fred James moved his family to Des Moines in 1925 to join the Hertzberg Bindery of Des Moines.
Hertzberg Bindery of Des Moines had an idea of providing printed book covers for periodicals and children's books. They patented the concept and sold the license to bookbinderies in the U.S. These binderies used the printed covers to bind books for public libraries. As a result, Hertzberg Bindery incorporated a new company called Library Binding Service, Inc. The business went on during the depression of the late 30's and through the Second World War. After the war the Library Binding Service business grew, but the bindery did not profit.
The Hertzberg brothers got together and decided to form a new company called Hertzberg-New Method. They took the library binding portion of three binderies -- Monastery Hill Bindery, New Method Bindery, and Hertzberg Bindery of Des Moines -- and formed a new company in 1953. The company was located in Jacksonville, Illinois.
In 1980 Fritz James purchased the Library Binding Service business from his relatives. Mr. James is the great-great grandson of the founder of Monastery Hill Bindery. He brought with him 15 years’ experience as the bindery manager of Hertzberg-New Method Bindery.
In 1996, Library Binding Service became known as LBS. Today, LBS is a manufacturer and converter of cover materials, endsheets, cover board and reinforcing materials for the bookbinding, photobook, menu, packaging and stationery industries. LBS continues to print book covers for children's books and textbooks. LBS is one of the largest distributors and manufacturers of bookbinding materials in North America.
LBS has two other divisions, Archival Products and Corporate Image. Archival Products is a manufacturer of protective enclosures for colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Archival Products holds a patent for a pamphlet and music binder devised by Fritz James. Corporate Image is a printer and manufacturer of custom presentation materials for U.S. corporations.
Corporate Image products include 3-ring binders, presentation binders, pocket folders and a wide variety of packaging products.
All three divisions employ approximately 80 people. LBS outgrew the original building constructed in 1921. We have remained in Des Moines, IA but have since expanded into three facilities.
In October 2014, LBS became an employee owned company (ESOP). The dedicated employees of LBS will continue to develop new materials and create innovative new products for the industries that we serve.