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PSA: Please stop microwaving in your books to get rid of coronavirus

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

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

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

Elizabeth Guarino-Kozlowicz, regional manager for the Kent District Library, thinks it has something to do with Covid-19.

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

She also made her case in a Facebook post.

You see, every book in that library – and libraries around the country – has a metallic radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that can and will burn in a microwave oven. The tags can also catch fire, reads the Facebook post.

But it gets the question: How do do we know that our books are virus free?

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

“You don̵
7;t really have to worry about finding ways to disinfect these materials,” Berendes told attendees, according to a summary of the meeting. “The virus, if present, would be present in very low amounts and would die off fairly quickly.”
In addition, libraries have their own protocol in place, Kozlowicz said. Here are some that the American Libary Association recommends.

“We follow the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines to ensure proper sanitation of shared library materials. Each book is in quarantine for 72 hours after it has been returned to us,” Kozlowicz said.

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