AskSmithsonian always has a fascinating and eclectic collection of reader questions and answers from Smithsonian Institutions experts on topics ranging from scientific phenomena to art history to pop culture. (What exactly is duck sauce? Has anyone ever run for president from prison? How does a hippopotamus swim so fast?) In the current issue, a reader asks if libraries fumigate books to disinfect them. Here's the answer:
That practice was used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when book-borrowing was seen as a possible disease vector. Today, collections use nonchemical methods, like freezing, to treat mold and insect infestations. The observation that the coronavirus can survive on paper and cardboard for up to one day is leading libraries to disinfect nonporous surfaces and quarantine recently circulated materials for 24 hours, says Vanessa Haight Smith, the head of the Smithsonian Libraries’ Preservation Services Department.
image: David Flores/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Have you ever wanted to find a book, but you don’t know the title? This video and article from Make Use Of has some ideas that could help. Suggestions include using Google Book Search, BookFinder, WorldCat, The Library of Congress, and Ask a Librarian. Image: Jumpstory/CC0
If you’re in the market for book recommendations to fill up your stay-at-home hours, here’s a short list of favorites from Bill Gates. Check out his longer list on his blog, GatesNotes blog.
I’m honored that in the latest issue of The Burning Shore, Erik Davis, scholar of West Coast counterculture, reviewed The Family Acid: California, Roger Steffens’s far-out photo album I published with my Ozma Records partner Tim Daly! Erik’s excellent essay is a double review, also focusing on the Anthology Editions reprint of Dennis Stock’s striking […]
Apple AirPods have become the default earbuds beloved by millions. Unfortunately, they also cost $159, so it’s no surprise that since they were first introduced in 2016, companies have battled to produce comparable headphones at a lower price. The UK-designed and engineered Veho STIX true wireless earphones may have cracked that particular problem, striking a […]
Instagram isn’t just for tweens and foodies. In fact, the image-heavy platform not only wants to mint new Instagram influencers — it also wants to make them rich. In the last few weeks, the company announced ad revenue sharing on IGTV videos, special badges you can buy from your favorite accounts through Instagram Live, merchandise […]
There’s a case to be made that animation might be the most labor-intensive storytelling method out there. For every second of finished film, animators have to create 12 different moving character images, each minutely adjusted to give the illusion of fluid motion. And that’s in addition to the background drawings and any other elements needed […]