Good news avid fans of public libraries; it is safe to check out books that have been quarantined for three days after they have been returned.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and OCLC have partnered up with Battelle to research data on COVID-19 and how books are affected by it. The results have been more than promising. Tests were run by applying the Cars-CoV-2 virus on ‘five materials held at standard room temperature and humidity conditions.’ Those items were hardback book covers paperback book cover, plain paper pages inside a closed book, plastic book covering, and DVD case.
The tests showed that “the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not detectable on the materials after three days of quarantine.” That is great news and people will feel safer when checking out library books and other stuff from the library. You can review the study here.
Tests like these are important because we need scientific data guiding our decisions. Now that we know that the virus won’t be transmutable from books and other physical objects after three days of quarantine, libraries can focus time and energy on other tasks.
Trying to get back to normal will be a long road but with the right information, we can slowly but surely get there. People were microwaving books because they didn’t know any better! If you are still hesitant about checking out books even after this study, that is also fine. Just don’t check out books and go about it your own way which may end up destroying the book and nobody else will be able to read them.