Library uses high-tech tool to sanitize materials for checkout

books lined up on shelves of UV sanitizing machine
This is no ordinary library shelf, it is a UV sanitizing cart that is used to disinfect library materials before they are returned to circulation.

The Alkek Library staff is using a variety of tactics to keep library patrons and staff safe as they provide services and resources this fall. In order to continue to make books, research materials and equipment available for checkout, these returned items are quarantined and then sanitized before they are returned to circulation. Library staff are using this technology in areas where items are checked out for temporary use including the Checkout Desk and the Alkek One technology centers.

To preserve library materials, ultra-violet (UV) lights are used to sanitize the materials using AC and USB UV Clean and Charge Carts. The UV-C light bulbs in UV disinfection products target the maximum amount of surface area with a calibrated wavelength of UV light that damages the DNA of bacterial and viral matter, but not the materials themselves. These santizers have been successfully used to kill H1N1 influenza and other coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS. UVC-254 damages the DNA and RNA of viral matter, including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Learn more about the library’s efforts to  keep staff and patrons safe on the Fall 2020 Service Plan web page.

This article provided by University Libraries Marketing and Promotions Coordinator, Debbie Pitts.