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Cary Library Materials Quarantine Procedures

1 Day Materials Quarantine 

While results from tests conducted on various common library materials (REALM Project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services) have shown traces of live virus after as many as 6 days in quarantine, current information about the spread of COVID-19 indicates that the likelihood of contracting the virus from surface contacts is low. In fact, sector-specific guidance issued under the Governor’s Reopening Massachusetts plan states that “Books and other materials should be placed in marked containers after patron handling or return and subject to 24-hour quarantine before being returned to shelves by library workers.” 

After considering these and other factors (such as storage space for quarantined materials and longer waiting periods for high-demand items) the Cary Library has instituted a one-day (24 hour) quarantine practice for all materials returned to the library by the Mass Library System’s interlibrary delivery service or through the library’s two book drops.

Incoming materials including all returns and network delivery items will be:

  • Placed in a designated “parking area” for quarantined materials
  • Covered with tarps/placed in closed bins
  • Dated in a visible location with the date the items were received by the library

Materials are held in quarantine prior to check in, sorting, shelving, holds requests, or any other significant or sustained contact.

Items remain in the isolation “parking lot” until such time as these quarantine times are reached. No items may be accessed until this 1 day quarantine is complete.
Once materials have fully cleared the 1 day quarantine they may be checked in, routed to other libraries, used to fill holds, or shelved accordingly. 

NOTE: At time of check-in, all materials should be backdated to the date of return.

This protocol updated March 23, 2021. At the time of this revision, there were no known cases of COVID due to surface contact outside of a medical setting.

Reopening Massachusetts - sector specific guidance for libraries
REALM Project (REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums) - a partnership between the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), and Battelle.