Before he was even born, the first thing I bought for my nephew was a big stack of Dr. Seuss books.
Of course, I quickly learned that, rather than reading them, he preferred sticking the hardcovers in his mouth and coating them with a hefty amount of spit.
As most parents know, for the majority of their childhood that rule applies to pretty much everything a little one can get their hands on.
And that doesn’t change just because they happen to be in public, as the library featured in the hilariously honest photo below proves.
A Twitter user recently shared the pic after visiting the Oregon City Library. The image shows the facility’s genius solution for soiled items: lick buckets.
The helpful plastic tubs provide parents with a sanitary solution instead of sticking any books or other items right back onto the shelves.
The photo garnered responses from fellow librarians — and celebrity supermom Chrissy Teigan.
Thumbnail Photos: Twitter / Alex Halpern // Wikimedia Commons / Another Believer
The Oregon City Library’s tub included a sign that featured an adorable dog and the instructions:
“Uh oh. Did your kid lick something? Put it in this LICK BUCKET and give it to a librarian on your way out.”
The fine print underneath continues with an understanding message for parents:
“Seriously, don’t worry about it. This is normal kid behavior, it happens all the time, and we have plenty of wipes on hand.”
It’s a nice way to encourage parents to continue bringing their kiddos to the library and enjoying the free access to books while also keeping everyone from spreading icky germs.
The original tweet has currently been shared over 3,000 times, and even Chrissy Teigan had to chime in when she saw the library’s clever “lick buckets.”
Other librarians also commented with their own similar policies for keeping books clean — or wishing they had plenty of the tubs in their facility, too.
Another librarian admitted to regularly finding even more bizarre things while cleaning out the book drop-off.
I can only imagine the types of “interesting things” people have left inside these receptacles for librarians to discover over the years.
Who knows, maybe these “lick buckets” will become commonplace in more than just our libraries. After all, books aren’t the only things kids like to taste test.
What would you think if you saw a “lick bucket” sitting around in your library?
Be sure to SHARE this story with your friends if you think this is a funny yet clever way to keep books clean!