Sno-Isle Libraries is following state guidelines for quarantining borrowed library materials before returning them to circulation.
“State officials recommend a quarantine period of at least 24 hours,” said R.D. Burley, Assistant Director of Facilities, Safety and Security for Sno-Isle Libraries “We are meeting or exceeding that recommendation for all physical materials, including books, DVDs and CDs.”
From the beginning of the pandemic, library officials have said the approach is to monitor and adapt to changing circumstances and best practices regarding safety for customers and employees.
In an Oct. 6 update to the state’s Safe Start plan, a minimum 24-hour materials quarantine period was included in guidelines for public libraries. Prior to that, Sno-Isle Libraries had been using first a three-day and then a four-day quarantine period. After careful review, Sno-Isle Libraries began transitioning to the 24-hour quarantine and anticipates all materials will meet that threshold by Nov. 20.
The state guideline comes as more information about the virus comes to light. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Rutgers University have had more time to study the virus and learned that transmission via surfaces is unlikely. The state’s recommendation is based on advice from the Oregon Health Authority which says an overnight quarantine “is likely sufficient and 24 hours is even more precautionary.”
While safety is the top priority, the 24-hour quarantine will also help reduce the waiting period for library materials to be available to more customers.
“Reducing wait times while maintaining safety will make everyone happier,” Burley said, adding that Sno-Isle Libraries will continue to monitor the most current information and adapt services as needed.