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VCU Libraries introduces new practices to care for materials while helping keep each other safer

August 18, 2020 Library staff member, wearing a mask, waves behind a plexiglass shield at an information desk. [View Image]

As always, the safety of students, staff, faculty and community members is the first priority at VCU Libraries. This includes caring for items from the library collection to make sure extra precautions are taken to promote everyone’s safety. 

During the pandemic, VCU’s librarians have explored scientific studies, consulted with VCU’s Safety and Risk Management and the Public Health Response Team as well as examined best practices for handling materials outlined by numerous libraries and museums.  

Research indicates that the COVID-19 virus does not adhere well to paper. In an abundance of caution, according to Preservation Librarian Nora Bloch, “We have put in place a number of new collection handling practices to protect the health of people in our community as we work together safely through the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes a quarantine period for all returned items.” Bloch stresses that “We ask that people not attempt to clean or disinfect any items you check out, as this can damage the materials and cannot be effectively done to every page of a book. Washing your hands well before and after handling any shared item in the library is the most effective measure people can take.”

Here are a few of the new protocols for safer handling of materials.

VCU Libraries new practices are based on guidance and directives from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), VCU, VCU Health and the Commonwealth. Additionally, VCU Libraries follows recommendations from the Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project and the Northeast Document Conservation Center < Previous | Next >

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