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Subject: Dust cloths

Dust cloths

From: Pete Jermann <pjermann>
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 1991
Our library has recently begun barcoding of books in the circulating
collection in preparation for automation.  The possibility arose that
while each book was being individually handled for barcoding it could
also be dusted.  The question became whether to use treated or untreated
dust cloths.  Treated cloths seem to offer the advantage of actually
picking up and removing the dust whereas untreated clothes seem to be an
exercise in redistributing the dust rather than actually removing it.
The airborne dust created through the use of untreated cloths also
represents a hazard to the person dusting. The downside of a treated
cloth is that it may deposit a contaminating residue on the book dusted.
(Note: A vacuum cleaner is out of the question as this is a barcoding
project and not a stack cleaning project).

Carolyn Horton in one of her books (Cleaning and Preserving Bindings and
Related Materials, 1969) recommends One Wipe dust cloths or Endust.  We
stock Stretch'n Dust disposable treated cloths.  I would like to think
that the different brands of treated dust cloths are basically the same.
Since the action of the cloth is to attract dust from another surface I
would like to think there would be little or no residue from the cloth
left behind. (Notice the use of "I would like to think").   However, an
inquiry to the custodial staff concerning the use of our stock Stretch'n
Dust clothes brought the reply that nobody liked using them because they
left your hands oily. I could see that even if the cloths themselves did
not contaminate the books, oily hands definitely represented
contamination problem.

The current resolution to the problem at hand is to use untreated dust
cloths.  I would appreciate input from members of the distlist
concerning the use of treated or untreated cloths for dusting (or any
other method that can easily be included in a barcoding project).

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:29
                Distributed: Tuesday, November 26, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-29-007
Received on Wednesday, 20 November, 1991

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