Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, September 02, 2004

A useful list for those looking into making libraries more ergonomic

and preventing injuries, especially given the repetitive stress issues you see in libraries, between typing and shelving, especially. I wouldn't wonder if it's those are the biggest occupational health issues for librarians (followed by mould/dust allergies and chemicals used in preservation).

ErgoLib...Safer Library ComputingErgoLib...Safer Library Computing

PS The guy who was hunting down my wrist thingies came through...and I can already tell a difference, especially as they have built in wrist supports for typing and a splint to keep the wrists from bending while I'm doing activities. I think I can start tackling the back shelf-reading/reorganisation of the back journal issues, and maybe start back with my typing project (so long as I don't go hog wild.)

By the way, this particular style is called a Smart Glove. They're latex free, have ergonomic beads, and are fully reversible and machine washable (once you remove the splint). They run about $15 a piece in stores.

Let me tell you, a little bit of prevention goes a long way. I've used wrist supports for years, both for the keyboard and mouse, but I hadn't really realised how much the cupping motion your hands make when you're shelving books--especially medical texts--puts stress on the nerve until recently. So now I have something that is gives me the range of motion I need but keeps overextension to a minimum and provides support, to boot. These let your fingers be as nimble as you need them to be but you can't 'relax' into the ergonomically negative postures that are so easy to fall into. Yay!

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