Library Officials Say: Don’t Microwave Your Books
We've been told to wear masks, to wash our hands, to sanitize our groceries. We've been trained, over the last few months, to disinfect everything that we buy that comes into our homes from the outside. So I can understand the sentiment of those who would extend that practice to things they borrow, as well.
What I can't understand is how this particular idea came about. And I am also perplexed at the thought that enough people were "on the same page" (pun intended) when it came to this idea, that officials finally had to step up and intervene.
According to some recent news articles, like this one from the Detroit Free Press, there are folks out there who have tried to "disinfect" their library books...by microwaving them.
Now I get that you can disinfect a wet sponge that way. But if you put a book in the microwave you run the chance of killing way more than Covid-19. You could kill your microwave, for one. You will probably do some pretty nasty damage to the book, which you wanted to read badly enough to check it out in the first place. Or worst case scenario...
But I get the paranoia.
So I reached out to Ben Treat, the Director of our very own Bangor Public Library. He walked me through some of the safety precautions The Library is taking to make sure the books you check out are safe. He says thanks to information sent out to all Maine Libraries from the Maine State Library, and from research done by a renown lab, specifically to do with how long Covid-19 lives on different surfaces, can rest assured knowing the Bangor Public Library is doing everything it can to make sure you're only bringing home a borrowed book, and nothing else!
Treat also says they have changed the entire way they do things, to keep the public and their staff safe. They've moved most of their programming online, and have altered the way books are checked out.
Treat says that the Summer Reading program for kids just kicked off this week. You can sign your child up for that right online. There are also two upcoming art programs the library is currently taking submission for; "The Pandemic Postcards Project" and "A Call For Art-Woman's Right To Vote 2020."
For more information, log onto their website, bangorpubliclibrary.org or call them at (207) 947-8336.