Flu season lasts for months and will be the time of year when most people get sick or pass on sickness on others. You may become ill during this season and not really notice it, but you can be spreading it to other people anyhow.
This is why it is so important to take extra precautions during this time of year, which lasts from October to May in the northern part of the world, which includes Europe, Russia, Canada, and the United States.
We want to be careful about what we are touching during these times and take some extra care in keeping germs away from our faces. We have a few suggestions for what you can do to keep yourself safe when it comes to library books at this time of year. Remember that library books are handled by many people. It’s not just the librarians who touch them, but then people also come into the library and touch many of these books. That includes small children who might not be too careful about their illnesses and who they are spreading germs to.
Then, of course, the books get checked out and taken home, where they can encounter all sorts of germs in those environments. They can come into contact with pets, insects, and people who live in the same house or who visit the house. You never know what germs a library book will come back to the library with!
Here are some things you can do to keep library books clean this time of year and prevent the spread of germs.
Wipe Down Plastic Covers
You want to be very careful about any kind of cleaning you do on books suggests Anthony of Los Angeles Maid Service & House Cleaners. You need to keep water and other liquids away from the paper and cardboard parts of the books. But our library books that are allowed to be checked out of the building all have plastic covers. This makes them easy to clean and easy to preserve. We will wipe down these covers during the flu and cold season, or at least spray them with disinfectant spray. We do this whenever flu season is in swing and whenever we get the books back from our guests.
You can take care of library books at home and avoid letting germs hang out on them. Just use a disinfectant wipe on the plastic overs. Any part of the book that has plastic is safe to wipe down with a disinfecting Ipe. The stronger the disinfecting wipe, the better it will be at killing germs.
Be careful not to wipe down any paper or cardboard part, as the water in the wipe can be damaging to those parts. Wipe gently from one side to the next, wiping in a smooth, long motion until you have wiped the entire plastic surface clean.
When to Clean Books
The best time of year to wipe down books with a wet wipe or disinfectant wipe is during the colder winter months when flu season is going on. In the summer, the humidity tends to be too high to safely wipe them down and clean them. That humidity can make the book warp if you are not careful, so we don’t wipe our books down then, nor do we advise our guests to wipe down their books that they check out.
If there is any cleaning to be down on library books in the summer, we usually just dust them. That helps extend their life and keeps them from looking dirty and untidy. If anything spills on a book’s plastic cover, we wipe that down and then ensure that any remaining dampness is dried away completely before storing the book away. It is a bad idea to store books with other books if they have any moisture on them. The water, even in small amounts, can damage multiple books.
Books are Germ Hotspots
Why is it so important to keep library books clean? This gets rid of contaminants on the book that could cause them damage, like food and drink particles, as well as dust and dirt. It also removes germs and bacteria, which can stay active on the plastic cover of a book for days or even weeks. If the book is handled by anyone, they can pass on their germs, leaving them intact on the book.
We always assume that every book has been handled when we clean the library, and we think it is wise for anyone who checks out a book from the library to assume the same thing. We cannot possibly clean each and every book every day of the week. That wouldn’t not be feasible because we don’t have that kind of time and manpower in the library. So, we urge our guests to clean their own books carefully once they get them home.
You should assume that others have touched the book before you. Assume that they did not have clean hands and may have passed on germs. Assume that the book hasn’t been cleaned since the last person touched it. If you take precautions and have that mindset, you will be much safer.
Minimize Germ Contact
You want to take steps to keep germs from accumulating on the books that you borrow from the library. Try to make sure that they are not left anywhere that they will get dirty. Keep them at home or in your vehicle as much as possible. Be careful about taking them into public places, like schools, malls, and waiting rooms. These are all germ hotspots and can be areas where the books collect germs. If you take your book out in public, just clean it off when you get back home and wash your hands before and after reading it. That will keep you safe and protect others.
When we all take proper precautions and do our part to keep library books clean of germs, we all cut down on the spread of illnesses.