Related product Collections Management

Resources for Collection Management - Response to COVID-19

Ann Lindsey, Head of Conservation at the University of Chicago Library

April 2020 (updated May 2020)

Looking for hard and fast answers to how libraries and archives should respond to the collection management aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in regard to their collections may be difficult or even impossible at this time. There have been studies about how long the virus can stay viable in various circumstances, but the hard truth is that we do not actually know right now. With that in mind, the CARLI Preservation Committee is providing this list of good sources of information to help guide decision makers in these difficult times. As always in an emergency, the most important thing is to keep people safe, but we are also presenting information about how to keep materials safe. Please keep in mind that things may change as we learn more about the spread of this virus.

The Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Information Hub: A COVID-19 Research Project is now available. On April 22, 2020, the IMLS announced a partnership with OCLC and Battelle to provide safe handling protocols and reopening procedures.

On March 30, 2020, the IMLS and the CDC put out a joint webinar on paper-based collections. The presentation is available online.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), on March 26, 2020, added a new leaflet to their Emergency Management section about Disinfecting Books and Other Collections.  Here's the PDF/easily printable version.

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) held a live Facebook event on April 2, 2020, Collections Care in the Age of Covid-19, found on their Connecting to Collections website. The site also contains a list of resources.

On March 23, 2020, the National Park Service held a Facebook Live program, Covid-19 Basics: Disinfecting Cultural Resources

ALA has a resource page for Handling Library Materials and Collections During a Pandemic.

On March 27, 2020, American Libraries posted an article, "How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic: Conservators weigh in on the mysteries of materials handling during COVID-19" with links on its website.

And the Library of Congress has on its site a study about the use of hand sanitizers on collection material.