As part of the REALM Reserach Project, Battelle conducted a study on how long some commonly handled library materials would need to be quarantined prior to being returned to the shelf or back into circulation. Testing was conducted by applying the coronavirus (COVID-19) on five materials held at standard room temperature and humidity conditions. The materials were provided by the Columbus Metropolitan Library, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (Library of Congress), and the National Archives and Records Administration, and included:
- Braille paper pages
- Glossy paper pages
- Magazine pages
- Children’s board book
- Archival folders
Samples from each item were inoculated and placed inside the closed book or magazine. The items were then configured to mimic common storage conditions such as stacked or shelved books, or a pile of folders or magazines. (In Test 1, the items were not stacked.)
Results show that after two days of quarantine in a stacked configuration, the COVID-19 virus was not detectable on the archival folders.
After four days of quarantine in their stacked configuration, the virus was not detectable on the braille pages, glossy book pages, and board book.
The magazine pages showed a trace amount of virus at four days. Day four was the final time point tested.
Compared to the results from round one
, the results of Test 2
indicate that a longer quarantine time for certain types of paper materials, such as magazines and Children’s board books, may be required.
At this time, the OLC recommends quarantining materials for 4 days.