Project update: Phase 1 literature review and testing

REALM Project: Happening Now

OCLC / 20 May 2020

Project update: Phase 1 literature review and testing

Phase 1 of the research is focusing on commonly found and frequently handled/circulated materials, especially in U.S. public libraries.

  • A review of published scientific research is underway and will be publicly released. The purpose is to gather and evaluate existing research about SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) related to the following research questions:
  1. How might the virus spread through public library general operations?
  2. How long does the virus survive on material surfaces through environmental attenuation?
  3. How effective are various prevention and decontamination measures that are readily available to public libraries in the near term?
  • A technical testing plan from Battelle detailing how materials will be tested in their lab. This is expected to be released on the site by May 29, 2020.
  • Battelle began the first round of testing of materials on May 13, 2020. Five items commonly found in public libraries, which are also in high circulation and expected to arrive back in public libraries in large volumes were selected for this round. The materials were provided to Battelle by Columbus Metropolitan Library, and the tests will determine the length of time the COVID-19 virus may live on the surface of the materials and the results on this first round are expected to be released in mid-June. The items include:
    • hardcover book, made of buckram cloth
    • softcover book cover
    • pages inside of book
    • plastic protective cover
    • DVD case