Libraries Re-opening

Managing Returned Materials


Gresswell_BTS_Managing Returned Materials

Libraries Re-opening – Managing Returned Materials

With plans crystallising on students returning to schools and public and school library services resuming, the Gresswell team has been reviewing the best ways to manage materials being returned.

Gresswell, along with our sister company Demco US, have produced a round-up of research on how to safely quarantine materials and the steps to follow based on recommended guidelines from the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Library Association (ALA), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).

Quarantine for the Recommended Time

Currently, there are various guidelines for how long to quarantine library materials. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person. The coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces like countertops and doorknobs. How long it survives depends on the material the surface is made from.

Research is ongoing; however, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that tested how long the virus can remain stable on different kinds of surfaces. They found that it was still detectable on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.

With this in mind, we would suggest a quarantine period of not less than 72 hours for paper and cardboard materials. Depending on the surface, items should be quarantined for the recommended number of days, with plastic items quarantined for seven days.

Limit Transfer of Germs

It is recommended that staff should wear gloves to transport materials into quarantine and to remove them immediately after to avoid transferring the virus to other surfaces. Staff should also wear masks when working with quarantined materials and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after handling materials, as per government guidelines.

Surfaces such as tabletops, chairs, door handles, book returns, book trolleys, bins, and any other surfaces that have been touched should be disinfected thoroughly between the transfer of materials.

Regular household cleaners are effective, including bleach solutions and alcohol solutions of at least 70% alcohol.

Prepare your Library

Explore products that will help you provide library services while ensuring patron and staff well-being. Look out for details next week on Gresswell’s comprehensive range of products to assist with preparing spaces for re-opening.

Separate Circulating Media

Implement a clear procedure for returning items to the library.

Dedicate specific book trolleys or boxes for quarantined items or place them in bags for the quarantine period. They should be marked clearly and labelled with the date they were placed in quarantine to help track when they can be circulated again.

Products to consider:

Euro Containers

Euro Containers are a robust storage solution with a high weight capacity, perfect for the storage of quarantined books. Combine with Container Dolly to allow containers to be stacked and moved with ease.

Topstore Storage Boxes

Economical storage boxes with clip-on lids can be stacked and nested. Manufactured from transparent polypropylene, they can be easily cleaned with a cleaning solution. Both sizes are supplied in useful packs of 5.

Demco LibraryQuiet Book Trolleys

Demco LibraryQuiet™ Book Trolleys offer the perfect solution for quarantining books. Returned media can be placed on a trolley and wheeled to a quarantine area awaiting re-shelving. These trolleys are a quintessential library feature and essential for everyday use. Easily wipe clean the large flat surfaces.

Top Fed Indoor Book Return

Allow books to be returned by the user, which will help with social distancing. Books are instantly quarantined and can be placed into storage at the end of the day. Feature several units to help with capacity.

Consider Disinfecting Before Re-Shelving

The quarantine time is designed to eliminate the need for disinfecting, as the virus should no longer live on the surface of those materials. However, after quarantining for the allotted number of days, you may wish to wipe items that can withstand it, such as book jacket covers or DVD cases.

Adding Slip Over or PVC covers to books currently without, will assist with faster cleaning in the future.

Follow the Research

As researchers learn more about COVID-19, we will continue to monitor the studies and keep you informed about the best ways to manage your circulating collections to keep everyone safe.

Thinking about back to school? Gresswell is responsibly supporting customers at this time – processing orders and booking convenient delivery dates.