Librarian Skills: Illness Prevention

The Tiny Human has been sick.  I’m starting to hack my head off.  Many of my coworkers have been ILL.  A few others have had minor sniffles or ongoing allergy issues (yes, allergies strike in Winter, trust me on this one).  Those of us who aren’t sick are doing our best to avoid whatever staff and patrons are dragging in with them.

So how does one avoid illness when working with the public?  Very carefully!

*Please note, I have no medical training of any kind.  This are observations and practices I have developed based on my own experience.  Contact your medical provider with questions.  Results may vary.*


1.) If this is your first time working with the public (especially if you’re working with kids), you’re going to get sick.

I’m sorry, but that’s just how it goes.  Your body needs time to build up immunities and if this is your first time working the circ desk, you’re going to catch everything that comes in.  Start stocking up on tissues, cough drops, and pain medication.


2.) Wash your hands. 

We all know this is one of the best ways to keep illness from spreading.  Hand sanitizer will work in a pinch.  Also, try to cough/sneeze into your elbow, not on your hands.


3.) Get a Flu Shot. 

Trust me, this helps. It’s fairly affordable, with or without insurance.  Many workplaces will even pay for their employees to get a flu shot.


And here is the biggie…..



Do you have a fever?  Can you not spend more than 10 minutes away from a bathroom?  Has a medical professional told you to stay home from work?  THEN DON’T COME TO WORK.  Seriously.  Stay home.  Rest.  Get well.  Keep whatever you have to yourself, we don’t want it here.  The library will run without you. (Another Disclaimer: Check with your employers sick leave policy.) 


That being said, if you are not sick, please come to work.  We need you.


What are your illness prevention measures?



2 thoughts on “Librarian Skills: Illness Prevention

  1. Jenni says:

    I installed a motion-activated Lysol sprayer into the doorways of the children’s room … KIDDING

    I wash my hands. I make sure to rest and to eat and all those things that get neglected when life gets busy. I take the Target version of Airborne or something like it, which makes my colds/flus get better much, much faster.

    And I will definitely second the STAY HOME advice. When I was a teacher, I would try to “power through it” and still teach because, hey, the kids still needed to learn. But that meant 200+ people were exposed to my germs and it took me a ton longer to get better. Seriously: Stay home when you’re sick, and rest for a day or two or five, instead of being half-sick and miserable for a month. You’ll thank me later.

    And I’ve found that sometimes I need to come home from work and just go to bed – no exercise, no TV, no nothing. Sometimes I just need 12-15 hours of sleep in a row and then things are okay. And I have decided not to feel guilty about that, because Healthy Jenni is so much more pleasant to be around than Sick Jenni who also managed to exercise. 🙂


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