We keep busy here at Lincoln Library! Of course, the most important aspect of our days is doing our best to take care of our patrons, but there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes! Keeping the building clean, tidy, and inviting are daily tasks. Program preparation takes up many hours, as well as our Interlibrary Loan service. Shelving books, magazines, and movies can be quite time consuming, as it is easy to lose one’s focus and end up straightening and correcting the alphabetizing on an entire section. Of course, there is the ordering and finances and everything else that it takes to keep a place up and running. Covid-19 added to it! Not only were there extra cleaning responsibilities, disinfecting, and sanitizing, we began quarantining our books.
We used the large tables in our meeting room to clean and store our quarantined books for a week before returning them to the shelves. The process was inconvenient in many ways: the room was no longer available for meetings, new books were out of circulation, and we could really feel the crunch on our time.
We were approached about applying for money from the Barber County Cares Act. After thoughts were thrown around, our Board’s President, Mellissa Mixon, suggested a book sanitizer. We went with it, they went with it, and we ordered it. The Library Book Sanitizer Machine sanitizes up to 6 books at a time in 30 seconds with UV-C light and high air pressure. Not a cheap alternative to antibacterial wipes and quarantining, but a good one. We so appreciate the $4,300.00 from the Barber County Cares Act and so appreciate this machine. As I emailed back and forth with an employee of PIKinc., he informed me that as of right now, we are the only ones in the State of Kansas with one of these machines.
Books are now being returned quickly to the shelves. Our meeting room is open for meetings and our new books can circulate much quicker to waiting patrons. We like our machine so much that we are searching for the perfect name for her. Things this important cannot be rushed! Our thanks go out to everyone who made this purchase possible. After nine months of cleaning and quarantining books, we appreciate this machine every single day.