Does the Library Quarantine Materials That Have Been Returned?

  • September 8, 2020

The Library quarantines books and DVDs for three days when they are returned. We base this quarantine on best practice in libraries, advice from the Northeast Document Conservation Center, and research conducted by the Realm Project.

(If needed, we will re-circulate DVDs after one day if the case and disc are disinfected.)

For the most common Library materials, the Realm Project showed a sharp drop off in detectable viruses after one day. After three days, the virus was not detectable on many materials (exceptions are glossy book pages, magazine pages, children’s board books, and braille paper pages. There are few of these types of materials in the collection).

Its latest research study showed the virus lasting longer on stacked materials, so we are trying as much as possible to not stack books and DVDs while they are in quarantine.

*Please note that the detectable virus doesn't mean infectable virus The verdict on that is still out. For a discussion of this issue, please see this editorial:

*Please also note that the information presented above is not intended to provide advice on how you should handle materials. Rather, it is intended to update you on what is informing our decision making.