Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let's Not Panic, People.

I worked at the library yesterday since it was the day the rotating books van showed up. When I got there the regular librarians were pulling books in the children's section. We are going to an automated systems and have been pulling out of date books along with books that have not been checked out in over ten years off the shelves. Although I hate pulling any book our library is so small this has to be done at least once a year. We are pruning more aggressively this year since the less books we have on the shelves, the easier and faster it will be to set up the new system.

We are excited about the new system since it will make our jobs a little easier. With it we will be able to keep track of the books better. Right now we have a difficult time keeping track of them because everything is done by hand and things get overlooked. Things like which books are overdue, which need to be re-checked for people who call in to renew them (they usually do not know what date they are due), and who had been notified that their books are overdue. We sometimes accidentally check out books to people who owe fines or who have not returned books they have been notified are overdue. It can be very frustrating.

Anyway, like I said, when I got to the library yesterday the regular librarians were pulling books in the children's section. Not only were they pulling the out of date books and the ones that have not been checked out in a long time, they were pulling books printed before 1975. Our library is part of the Northwest Kansas Library System and our head librarian had been told by NKLS that all books printed before 1975 contained dangerous amounts of lead it the printing ink and that all children's books printed before that date should be pulled off the shelves. I was shocked by this bit of intelligence but my worries got pushed to the side as the van arrived and we focused our energies on those books instead.

I forgot all about the lead ink danger until I got home and started reading the newspaper. On page 5A of the Denver Post I found this article. Seems the Center for Disease Control and Prevention looked into this so called lead danger to children and found it to be minimal. As one official at the DCD said, "...on a scale of one to ten this is like a 0.5 level of concern. "

It's the Swiffer WetJet scare all over again. I rushed back to the library with my Denver Post and showed the article to the head libraian. She read it and said she was happy she had not pulled very many books at that point and asked me to make a copy of the article so she could send it on to NKLS.

Sometimes we as a people can be so gullible.

No comments: