Preparing for Safe Access to Library Books and Facilities

Posted on: August 19, 2020

JMU Libraries staff and faculty have prepared a plan, informed by research and JMU’s “Stop the Spread” guidelines, for safety-minded access to JMU Libraries’ facilities and physical collections (including Interlibrary Loan) as JMU prepares to welcome students back this fall.

View our Fall 2020 plan here. This plan, published on August 5, is designed to change in response to external developments or internal concerns. If changes to services occur, we will share updates. 

Selected additional details are below:

Safe handling of library books, equipment and materials

Our approach to handling new and returned library materials, such as books, equipment, and Interlibrary Loan materials, mirrors the current trends and best practices followed in other libraries. We isolate the items for the recommended time period, rather than physically cleaning them. 

The items are tagged with the date they are received and are placed on a library cart for isolation. A separate cart is used each day to prevent crosscontamination during isolation. Each cart isolates for at least 72 hours, based on guidelines consistent across the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and new research into how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials that are prevalent in libraries, archives, and museums. 

Once the items have been isolated for at least 72 hours, they are processed by our staff, who are equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment. 

Access to printed books

On June 22, 2020, we launched Click and Pickup, a pickup service that allows our community to request books and other physical materials to be picked up with limited interaction with Libraries staff. Learn more about this temporary service on our Click and Pickup page.

Originally published on June 2, 2020. Most recently updated on February 16, 2021.

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