My Librarian Sense is Tingling

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.” –

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.” –

Another library staff member commented that the bacteria count on reusable grocery bags is also high.

Wash you hands and be safe!


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