All users can help prolong the life of the Libraries' collections:
The Library of Congress has additional care, handling, and storage information.
The Many Stations of Book Preservation by the BYU Libraries demonstrates proper care and handling.
When handling paper-based collections, routinely washing and drying hands is the recommended way of preventing the spread of any dust or dirt that may be present on the items being handled. Cotton gloves are commonly associated with handling rare and fragile materials, but using them poses risks to paper:
See Misperceptions about White Gloves (pg. 4) and White Gloves Debate for more information and resources.
When handling unsleeved photographs and/or negatives, gloves should be worn (nitrile gloves if available, or cotton).