The global pandemic has everyone rethinking the way they interact with just about everything, including library books. Extended lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders have made libraries across the country even more valuable than before. But growing concerns about the cleanliness of books could be offsetting library patronage.
Like other businesses during this critical time, safety and cleanliness are paramount priorities for libraries. To continue catering to patrons’ needs and providing them with peace of mind, the STERI-Book is bringing an effective solution for germ-free books to libraries large and small.
What is STERI-Book?
Not to be confused with a storybook, STERI-Book is shaping up to be a major gamechanger for libraries during COVID-19. With a somewhat smaller profile than a vending machine, the STERI-Book SB-601 Public machine features power UV technology and a large chamber that can sterilize up to six books in minutes.
In addition, the STERI-Book SB-601 Public can effectively sanitize keyboards, devices, CDs, DVDs, headphones, and other media with the same efficiency and effectiveness.
Some call this library book sterilizer a much-needed answer to our current germ-filled crisis. Others call it a valuable library asset that’s long overdue (pun intended!), because cleanliness should matter all the time. In either case, it could be the answer for libraries that are struggling to reopen safely and provide a standout patron experience.
How STERI-Book Works
The STERI-Book SB-601 Public is the product of health-focused engineering and innovation. The machine includes 10 strategically placed hospital-grade UV-C lamps for better exposure and sanitizing power. An internal fan activates during the sanitization process to separate pages and provide additional hands-free sanitization.
A filter on the back of the machine collects dust and other contaminants stirred up by the internal chamber to keep germs and debris from circulating within the facility.
The chamber measures 460 mm H x 600 mm W x 515 mm D (or 18.11”x 23.62”x 20.27”) and can hold books up to 490 mm x 15.75 mm (19.29”x15.75”). Book stands are evenly spaced in two rows of three to maximize the internal holding space and minimize the number of daily sanitizing cycles.
Installation and maintenance of the library book sterilizer are just as much of a breeze as operation. The SB-601 Public plugs into any standard 110 v outlet. Ongoing maintenance is as simple as changing the filter once per year and replacing the 10 UV-C lamps when they go out. For comparison, each UV-C lamp lasts anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 cycles (machine on/off equals one cycle).
The STERI-Book SB-601 Public’s design has also taken into account the growing use of RFID tags. The machine doesn’t pose any damage to RFIDs, nor does it present a risk to the operator in terms of eye or skin damage. When the chamber is open, the lights automatically turn off to eliminate direct exposure.
Making a Business Case for Sterilizing Library Materials
There’s no doubt that clean books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials have always been important to library patrons. The problem, however, is that cleanliness simply wasn’t as top of mind for most people as it is today, nor has there been as great a need to provide it.
Now, as COVID cases worldwide surpass 21 million and counting, more businesses and services are stepping up to do their part to mitigate the spread. This most certainly includes libraries, whose entire existence relies on materials and resources that are frequently shared among users.
Bringing simplified, streamlined sterilization practices to the library promotes a new level of safety for immuno-compromised users, elderly, and children. The process is mostly hands-off for librarians, as the machine uses UV light to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses. Inside, a fan helps the UV light reach more pages as well as get rid of dust mites, animal hair, and other contaminants that might have fallen between the pages of the book. This ensures that the book’s cover, spine, and pages all get the same royal treatment to further reduce the spread of germs.
Independent lab testing supports the STERI-Book’s efficacy. Tests have been conducted on books in varying positions and at varying UV intensities. During each test, the sterilization time was set for one minute per position, at which point the lab obtained the radiation dose. Here’s an excerpt from a recent report:
“The D90 value indicates the ultraviolet dose for 90% inactivation. The range of D90 values for coronaviruses is 7-2410 j/m2, and the average of all studies is 308 j/m2. Excluding outliers, the mean D90 value is 58 j/m2, which should adequately represent the ultraviolet susceptibility of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus.”
Finding Your ‘Happily Ever After’ with STERI-Book for Libraries
At a time when many libraries are struggling to reopen their doors due to safety concerns, the STERI-Book could provide hope for workers and patrons alike.
Libraries aren’t just repositories for books and media, but also as a community center and safe haven for many. They’re the place where children can access free internet to do their homework. They’re home to many organizations and meeting groups who have nowhere else to go. They serve as job search centers for people to find jobs, fill out resumes, and get back to work.
And the longer libraries are closed, the more they distance themselves from the communities they’re intended to serve.
As for the libraries who are already back in business but unable to offer some of their previous services and experiences, a library book sterilizer could also provide a much-need (and much-appreciated) answer.
Reopening libraries in a way that promotes health and safety for all should be a top priority. The STERI-Book SB-601 Public could be a step in the right direction to ensure all library patrons can find their happily ever after.
See the STERI-Book in action, then reach out to Ristech for more details!