LBS Mourns Passing of Fritz James

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LBS Mourns Passing of Fritz James

Fritz James

On April 7, 2023, Frederick C. James passed away. Fritz was owner and president of Library Binding Service (LBS) for 40 years, and through his drive, determination and innovation, moved the company into position to be what LBS is today, a successful 100% employee-owned business.

From a tribute to Fritz at the 75th anniversary of the Library Binding Institute, Fritz’s good friend and longtime book binding industry partner, Jack Fairfield, had this to say. “If one word were the requirement to describe Fritz James, it could easily be passion.” Passion definitely drove Fritz, whether it was caring for his employees, managing his business, trekking through Asia, Europe or South America in a 1929 Ford, (lovingly known as Henry) with his close friend and business partner, Lang Wightman, or caring for his ‘farm’ in Southern Iowa, Fritz knew only one way to do things, and that was being “all in!”
When Fritz wasn’t creating a new style of library binding or library preservation method, he was giving back to his community through his time and numerous financial contributions—many of which were anonymous. From Greenwood School to the Des Moines East Side Chamber of Commerce to Hoyt Sherman Place to the wetlands of Iowa, Fritz was making the world a better place.
Fritz was a collector of books and keeper of his father, Fred’s, collection. Fritz donated over 500 books about paper, typography and books, as well as a collection of rare decorative papers from around the world, to the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book Arts. This donation ensures that Fritz’s commitment to books and literacy will be enjoyed for generations to come.
In his honor, LBS will plant a tree on company grounds along with a commemorative plaque. At the 2021 event honoring the company’s 100-year history, the private drive between two of the company’s three buildings was named Fritz James Way. Fritz was able to attend the event and enjoyed visiting with some of his former employees, customers, and suppliers.

He will be dearly missed, but the legacy of the three businesses he created, LBS, Corporate Image, and Archival Products, will continue as the company he helped mold enters its second century.

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Corporate Image Archival Products The LBS family is made up of three companies – LBS, Corporate Image and Archival Products. All share a dedication for service and quality excellence within their own unique niche. Click on their logo to visit their website.