A Facebook friend posted a status update, “Has anyone ever heard of germ transmission via books checked out from the library?” Before I would have taken a mental note and moved on but having started my MLIS classes, my “Librarian Sense” started to tingle. I had to comment. I did a quick search, yes in Google, and pulled up a couple scholarly references.
“The microbial flora on the surfaces of 15 books obtained from a public library and from 15 books obtained from a family household were studied. Staphylococcus epidermidis was recovered from 4 of the library books and 3 of the family household books. The number of organisms per page was between one to four. This data illustrates the safety of using library books, as they do not serve as a potential source of transmission of virulent bacteria.” –http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7722550
And then relating this to something we all handle:
“In the United States, the cleanest dollars hosted just 20 bugs, which the researchers refer to as colony forming units, or CFUs; the dirtiest greenbacks hosted 25,000 — which translates to about 128 CFUs per square centimeter. One factor likely contributing to the huge spread: a bill’s age.” –http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/67218/title/Dirty_money_1_Expect_germs
Another library staff member commented that the bacteria count on reusable grocery bags is also high.
Wash you hands and be safe!