The Library is closely monitoring the global coronavirus pandemic. The health and safety of the library staff, patrons and our community are of utmost importance. The procedures outlined below are based on the current research available from the medical and scientific communities regarding COVID-19. We are relying on the expert opinions of the medical profession, local and state health officials and the Center for Disease Control on the best ways to manage the pandemic in terms of library services and collections. As our understanding of the virus evolves, the Bud Werner Library will monitor and adjust procedures accordingly.
Quarantine – Time is the Best Disinfectant
The best practice at this time is to quarantine items past the viability of the virus. Using an abundance of caution, the Library quarantines items returned in the book drop for a minimum of 72 hours. It is deemed the safest and most effective way to disinfect them after handling by staff or patrons.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 17, 2020 indicated that COVID-19 will persist on cardboard surfaces for 24 hours and on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours. Based on this research, an appropriate quarantine time for paper or plain cardboard products would be a minimum of 24 hours, while an appropriate quarantine time for books covered in polyester (e.g. Mylar) or other plastics, as well as plastic-based materials such as CD’s and DVD’s, is 72 hours.
Staff and Community Safety
Staff wear gloves and face masks when moving items into quarantine. They remove the gloves immediately afterwards so as not to accidentally touch anything else (like door handles). After removing the gloves, staff wash their hands for 20 seconds, following CDC guidelines.
- Berendes, D. & Rasberry, C. (2020) Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections [Webinar]. National Institute of Library and Museum Sciences in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 1, 2020.
- Kampf, D. Todt, S. Pfaender, and E. Steinmann. (2020). Persistence of Coronaviruses on Inanimate Surfaces and their Inactivation with Biocidal Agents, Journal of Hospital Infection. V104, #3, March 1, 2020, p 246-251. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022
- Van Doremalen,N., Morris, D. H., Holbrook, M. G., et. al. (2020) Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine. March 17, 2020. https://doi.org/ 10.1056/NEJMc2004973
- Mandavilli, A. (2020, March 17). How Long Will COVID-19 Live on Surfaces or in the Air Around You?, The New York Times, March 18, 2020, Section A, Page 10; updated April 1, 2020.
- Parker-Pope, T. (2020). Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper?. The New York Times, Ask Well, April 17, 2020, updated April 18,2020.