August 19, 2021
The current Level 4 lockdown nationwide has led public libraries managers to seek advice from Public Libraries New Zealand regarding the quarantining of returned books from customers.
LIANZA has reached out to international contacts overnight. The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) reports that book quarantining was discussed at their last public library state and territory meeting and very few, if any, libraries are now quarantining returned books. The focus has moved on to keeping people safe – hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing.
Libraries Connected in the United Kingdom in consultation with Public Health England, and in line with guidance published by the government issued Public Library Service operational guidance in mid-July. This guidance includes the information that there is no longer any requirement to quarantine returned books and library resources, or to wipe down their surfaces.
The Libraries Connected service operation guidance can be found here.
This advice is shared with all library managers from across the wider sector, to provide guidance to consider when re-opening libraries at the end of the current lockdown period.