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HIT: Library Maintenance Part I of V

I was a librarian posted to a Federal Government secondary school in
Nigeria.  I had a cleaner assigned to the library.  (I even had him help
with inventory)!  I was the Circulation Librarian at the University of Ife,
Nigeria.  Cleaners were hired solely to dust books and clean shelves.   A
Librarian in this age of technology wears many hats, one that is hardly
mentioned is that of librarian-as-cleaner-if he/she wants-to

I take this opportunity to thank my colleagues on the Net for sharing
information on library cleaning.  The volume of responses overwhelmed me. To
add to my dilemma, I am not good with statistics so I have chosen this
format for the HIT.  I have cut and pasted in order to share the spirit in
which the comments were made.

Responses numbered 2-16 cannot be attributed to persons listed in same order
in number 1.

On 6/24/99 I posted this target:


Thank you for sharing your wealth of information, I've learned so much that
is not taught in Library School.
I would be grateful if you share information on book, shelf, and carpet
maintenance in your library. Is it done during or after library hours and by

1.  If you have a carpet, how often is it vacuumed?

Robie:  every other day
Laura: They vacuum whenever the library is going to be used by another
group---about every other month or so. "maintenance  is supposed to clean
the carpet every week after school hours
Dave: nearly every night
Peggy: daily by custodian
Debra: every evening
Geraldine:  once a week by an underpaid overworked custodian who goes above
the job description.
Pat: 1/week
Diana: is supposed to get vacuumed every night, but it doesn't
Rhonda: about 3-4x/week
Myra: possibly daily
Pat B.: daily --after school
Cheryl: daily
Kathy: 2 or 3 times a week
Nina: Generally, my custodians handle maintenance, but it's very haphazard.
The one who handles the library vacuums at least 2-3 times a week.
Eileen: Not very often and only by me.
Jana: nightly by the custodial staff. While they do an admirable job, they
do not always get everything between the shelves or in the far corners. It
often depends upon who is working in the area that evening. There are often
times when I use our little Dirt Devil to clean up missed areas. If I
mention the missed areas to the custodial staff, they are careful to get
them the next time. I am generally pleased with the job they do.
Jeni: nightly
G___o: The library is supposedly cleaned by a custodian, after hours. What
usually happens is that he empties the wastebaskets each night and vacuums
two times a week.
Lyn:  2- 3 times per wk
Elizabeth: Daily
Nancy: daily by a member of the cleaning staff assigned to take care of the
building. She vacuums during the course of the day, but she tries to be
sensitive about when seems to be the best time to do so.
Ginger: daily- Several times a month, cleaning is during school day because
he's been assigned to a special event after school
Cindy: Daily, usually the custodians do this, and empty the trash.
Nadine: couple times a week (hopefully!!), and if a group has made a
Linda: The middle is vacuumed several times a week
Pam: 2-3 times a week
Anne: Supposedly daily
Pat: daily (HA!!!)_______
Trish: every other night_____
Saranne: Nightly AS NEEDED (some nights the cleaning crew does not do it)__
Rachael: twice a week
Kaylene: Once a week
Mary Alice: every day and do a little dusting of counters, tables etc.
Amy: daily
Marcia: once/wk After school, often while students and I are still using the
library, which is distracting, and it is done by the custodians.
Leah:  daily.  We have one day custodian and two night custodians. I am on
one of the night custodian’s list - they come on duty at 3:00
Joanne: 2x month
Luann: daily
Marty: 3-5 times a week
Karen: Whenever it seems to need it, usually a couple of times a week.
Miriam: Supposedly on Wednesdays; often get excuses… no vacuum cleaner

2.  How often is it shampooed?

-    Summer only (by custodial staff)
-    I don't know about shampooing. I doubt that it has been done
-    Every August, just before school starts.
-    Once a year in the summer by custodian
-    every evening
-    I believe once a year in the summer but it may be once every two years,
again dependant on the custodian
-    1/year____
-     over the summer,
-    2x year__ Carpet is shampooed during Christmas break and during the
summer by the custodial staff.
-    annually and spot cleaned when I call about a problem
-    yearly in the summer (perhaps again at Christmas)
-    2/year
-    Maybe in the summer!
-    once a year, if that
-    Hasn't in 2 years.
-    once yearly during the summer break…. Occasionally, if time and work
demands permit, the custodians shampoo it over Christmas break; but that
does not happen often. They do spot clean as needed, but by the end of the
school year it is usually quite dull and dirty.
-    Nightly
-    in the summer
-    probably never--if it is done it is in the summer
-    once a yr. (in the summer)
-    Never to my knowledge
-   shampooed about once per year and perhaps as needed if a big stain
-   during summer break.
-   Annually, most summers
-   once every other YEAR
-   Once a year if I am lucky.
-   Winter Break, Spring Break, Summer Break. If something spills on it
-   ? HA! HA! HA!
-   each summer____
-   twice yearly, during Christmas break and over the summer___
-   Spots cleaned as requested, entire area cleaned in summer
-   summer, if even then
-   once shampooed during summer
-   During the summer, the custodians clean the carpet.
-   almost never___
-   beginning my 7th year - I do not believe it has ever been shampooed - I
better check on that!
-   2x - Christmas break and summer break
-   Spot cleaned as needed (we have a raised grid floor with carpet tiles in
a charcoal grey with bits of color) - 2 years old at this point.
-   annually (during the summer)_
-   at least once during the summer.  Right now my carpet is over ten years
old and really need replacing--I hope it disintegrates with the next
shampoo. (I was once in a school that was flooded with two inches of sheet
flooding--muddy icky stuff. I did not get a new carpet but had to shift
books for them to move shelves to clean under--that was really icky!)
-   Every summer, and often during school vacations at Christmas and Easter.
-   Supposedly during the summer

Miriam Travis, Librarian
JF Kennedy HS
Richmond, CA

Be good to yourself... share the leftover good with others...

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