REPOSTED: How safe are your library materials?

Through these challenging times, CADL has remained committed to providing high quality services that are safe for both staff and members. One of our areas of focus is the handling of returned items. Previously, we had been placing items in quarantine for at least 72 hours. Based on a new recommendation from health experts and others such as the Michigan Library Association, however, we have chosen to adopt an abundance of caution and increase the quarantine time to at least 96 hours. Circulation of board books will be suspended until further notice. This change went into effect on July 23, 2020.

Quarantining items keeps them safe 

CADL’s decision was based on results of two tests conducted by the Reopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) project. Their findings are as follows:

In the first phase of a project to develop science-based information about how materials can handle mitigate exposure, experts have found that the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 is not detectable on five common library materials after three days.

With the second phase of this project completed, experts have found that the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 takes about four days to completely disappear from these specific materials: books with glossy pages, magazines and board books.

Who are the experts?

The REALM Project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries; and by OCLC, a nonprofit library technology and research organization; in partnership with Battelle, a not-for-profit global scientific research and development organization.

Our commitment

As we navigate carefully through the various levels of reopening, be assured that CADL will continue to implement policies based on recommendations from industry experts. Read more about our reopening plans here


This information is based on the results of Test 2, published on July 20, 2020 from the Research Institute of Museum and Library Services. Read the full test results here.