PSA: Stop microwaving your books to get rid of the coronavirus

Here’s one: Don’t microwave your books to get rid of the coronavirus.

That’s a word from staff at the Kent County Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A few days ago, the library received a book that appears to have burned in the microwave.

Elizabeth Guarino-Kozlowicz, regional director of the Kent County Library, believes this has something to do with Covid-19.

“I’m really not sure why anyone would do that,” Kozlowicz told CNN.

She also published her case in a Facebook post.

You see, every book in that library – and in libraries across the country – has a metallic radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that can and does burn in the microwave. Tags can also catch fire, a Facebook post read.

But the question arises: How makes do we know that our books are virus free?

Earlier this year, the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) held a webinar on the subject with David Berendes, a CDC epidemiologist.

“You don’t really have to worry about finding a way to disinfect those materials,” Berendes told attendees, according to the meeting review, “If a virus was present, it would be present in very small quantities and would die fairly quickly.”
In addition, libraries have their own protocol, Kozlowicz said. Here are some recommended by the American Libary Association.

“We follow the guidelines of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to ensure proper remediation of common library material. Each book is quarantined 72 hours after it is returned to us,” Kozlowicz said.

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