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Innovation & Automation for the Modern Library

PLSJ uses CARES Act Funding- Purchases New Ultraviolet Ray Book Sterilizers for each branch to reduce book and media quarantining to 30 seconds.

Photo courtesy of The Weirton Daily Times. Pictured: Donna Straney, library assistant at the Main Library.

The Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County recently added ILS Book Sanitizers to each of their branches with pandemic support funds. “The sterilizers were purchased with money from the CARES Act funding. The state’s Office of Budget and Management distributed funds to Ohio’s public libraries.” PLSJ has a total of 6 branches and an additional BookMobile Service.

“Our wait time for popular books and other library materials has been reduced.”

Librarian, PLSJ main branch

Check out their local news article here

The use of the book and media sanitizers allows their libraries to be as safe as possible while being more efficient in providing books to patrons. All items are sterilized while quarantine time is reduced from 3 days to just 30 seconds.

Watch their video here

Illiteracy rates have greatly increased in this season as resources for continued growth in literature have been far less accessible. Aiming for the quickest possible return of books and materials to circulation is more important than ever and the use of grants and funding is a great way to do it.

Per the World Literacy Foundation, the Covid 19 Pandemic is causing a catastrophic rise in illiteracy. Data shows large declines in early literacy and a drop in students meeting benchmarks. Major reductions in book and media circulation are leading to limited to little access to resources, pointing towards an urgent need to keep schools and libraries open. Then the question arises, how do we remain open and keep staff, patrons, and our communities SAFE?

With safety as a huge concern, public libraries across the country, as well as school libraries, are quarantining all materials for a minimum of 72 hours if sterilizing equipment is not available. While safety is the highest priority, the quarantine process poses a problem with book circulation, especially in high volume libraries. The addition of the sterilizers, not only increases reachability but enables the libraries to provide a higher quality of safety for both their staff and community.

Looking for funding options for improved safety and contactless solutions???

American Libraries and Museums Awarded $13.8 Million in IMLS CARES Act Grants. While resources are exhausted at this time, the good news is that they plan to award more. “For FY 2021, we urge Congress to provide full funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, including $42.7 million for the Office of Museum Services and $206 million for the administration of the Library Services and Technology Act. The IMLS is funded under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.” See the full document here or keep an eye out for upcoming IMLS funding announcements here.

In addition to IMLS CARES Act funding, information on CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund can be found here. Per their most recent update additional grant opportunities may be coming. “Information regarding the distribution of these funds is forthcoming and will be posted on this website when available.”

CARES Act funding is not the only option either, Library Grants is a great resource for current library grant offerings for both public libraries and school libraries. This blog provides a regularly updated list of opportunities along with a wealth of information and required deadlines. For instance, The American Library Association is currently taking applications for their second wave of Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant. “Up to 650 U.S. libraries in small and rural communities will receive $3,000, online professional development, and resources to tackle issues ranging from media literacy to COVID-19 safety to unemployment.” The 2nd application period ranges from January 4 – March 4, 2021.

Join Steubenville and hundreds of other Public, Academic and School Libraries in returning books and materials to circulation, quicker and safer with the ILS Sanitizers.

Bellaire Library Joins the Forces to ReOpen Safely

This photo courtesy of The Times Leader, Author Shelley Hanson
Bellaire Public Library Director Mary Roberts, left, and Assistant Director Mary DeGenova remove their masks momentarily while posing with the library’s new book sanitizer.

The Bellaire Public Library of Bellaire, OH joined the efforts to protect their patrons and their community as we all strive to reopen libraries safely. Library Director Mary Roberts stated that

“For the safety of the people who work here and the community, this is a good investment,” Roberts said.

Check Out The Article Here

Full article below taken from The Times Leader, and credited to Author Shelley Hanson

BELLAIRE — At first glance the contraption looks like a large microwave, one big enough to cook a very large turkey.

But it’s not that at all.

It is actually a device to kill germs — including the virus that causes COVID-19 — on books, DVDS, CDs and more, and it is being used at the Bellaire Public Library.

Library Director Mary Roberts said the library purchased the device for $4,575 from International Library Service Inc. of Potomac, Md. Several items can be placed into the device, called the Ultraviolet Ray Book Sterilizer, at one time.

The library uses the device on all its books and other materials that fit before putting them back onto the shelves for other patrons to use again. Prior to getting the machine, the library would quarantine the books for four days before wiping them clean. Patrons, however, did not like the wait time and the library did not want to use liquids on the books.

Roberts said the machine is a good investment as it is keeping patrons and workers safe. She believes long after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended the library will continue to use it, as library books can get pretty dirty, she said.

While the machine has a timer for various “cooking” times, the directions say 30 seconds is enough. Most of the books are hung on wire racks inside and some can be placed on the bottom as well. An air blower inside helps clean them, too. During the process, one person is designated the loader, while a second person handles only the clean books. Gloves are worn by each worker during the process.

“For the safety of the people who work here and the community, this is a good investment,” Roberts said.

During the statewide shutdown of businesses declared non-essential by the state, library workers did deep cleaning of the facility and some much-needed reorganizing and inventory.

See how Oneonta Public Library is protecting their Patrons as we #reopenlibraries

Oneonta Public Library might be a small town library but they are doing BIG things to serve their patrons and community in this Pandemic season. When PIKinc and International Library Services launched the very first Book Sanitizer offered in the US, OPL Director, Ricky Statham, jumped on getting one. The ILS Book Sanitizer is one of a kind in the industry right now, sanitizing up to 6 books in 30 seconds, with its compact design, simple counter-top set up and standard plug-in. This state of the art machine utilizes UV-C (UVGI) light along with high air pressure to remove dust and kill pathogenic germs.  Lamp positioning and high-pressure air circulation ensure that all parts of the book are sanitized to include the spine, pages, and cover. The compact design and quiet operation allows Libraries to place the unit wherever it is most convenient for use. On top of all that, books are not all that this Sanitizing Machine takes care of. Let Ricky tell you all about what he and his team are using the ILS Book Sanitizing Machine for. 

The ILS Book Sanitizer not only sanitizes books for quick recirculating, but it can also be used for Laptops, Tablets, Hot Spots, DVDs, CDs, Keyboards, Masks, and even Children’s Books, book bags, and reusable shopping bags. “The possibilities are really endless. Just put them in, close the door, push the button, and 30 seconds later, everything is clean”, said Ricky, the Library Director at Oneonta Public Library.

This Book Sanitizer goes the extra mile too with a deodorizing feature to help your books, etc. to smell great. The deodorizer compartment holds a standard 6.5 oz fragrance spray-can, easily picked up at most local stores. At Oneonta Public Library, they aren’t just keeping it safe, they are using this aspect of the machine to make it fun! Check out how they plan to use this feature to spice it up a little for the upcoming holidays.

With all that the ILS Book Sanitizer machine offers, it would be perfect for Public Schools, Private Schools, Daycares, and community service entities. Being community-centered, see how our clients are also reaching out to local First Responders and Health Care Workers to offer the use of the machine to sanitize their masks. Ricky, Library Director of Oneonta Public Library, said, “They do so much for us every day and this is just our little way of serving them.”

Not only did Ricky make sure his Library got one of the ILS Book Sanitizing Machines, but he “wants to make sure that other Libraries know about the machines, how much of a difference they are making, and how to get their own.

We took hours and hours of manpower and replaced it with 30 seconds.”

-Ricky Statham, Library Director Oneonta Public Library