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COVID-19 & Law Coalition Information Hub

Arizona COVID-19 & Law Coalition is a clearinghouse on law expertise related to the virus.



The Law Library's COVID-19 Response Team is monitoring, gathering data, and contributing to best practices for library operations upon our return to campus including interacting with students, handling mail, and keeping the library space sanitary. We are also participating in discussions about and monitoring the impact that working from home is having on library personnel, their work, and the ability to serve their communities. The ongoing compilation and documentation of the information contained in these tabs is being executed by Jessica Ugstad, Library Collection Management Specialist, Technical Services.


Library, Archive & Museum Responses to COVID-19

Library, Archive & Museum Responses to COVID-19

  • "Academic Law Libraries COVID-19 Response," NELLCO Law Library Consortium, Inc.: This PowerPoint presentation presents results of a survey conducted by NELLCO. "On May 4, 2020 the 201 academic law libraries in the United States were sent an invitation via the ALL-SIS and NELLCO list-servs to participate in a brief, online survey. The 23-item survey asked libraries about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on their library and staff and what ideas are being considered as they plan to  reopen.​" 
  • ALA COVID-19 Recovery, America Library Association: "Strong libraries, and a well-supported library workforce, are essential to the recovery of communities devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This collection of tools, developed and updated by units across the American Library Association, will help communities, library workers, and library supporters plot the best course forward for their libraries."
  • "Closing and Reopening: COVID-19's Impact on Law Library Services," Amber Boedigheimer,  Information Today, Inc., June 2, 2020: In this article, Boedigheimer discusses how "Law library services have had to change rapidly due to the COVID-19 crisis, and [how] librarians are working hard to come up with the best solutions for delivering them." Boedigheimer goes on to highlight the work of Oregon Law Libraries "to ensure that legal information is safely available to people in their communities." 
  • "COVID-19 an Libraries - E-Books and Intellectual Property Issues," Congressional Research ServiceApril 28, 2020: This article provides background of the challenges that libraries faced with e-books before the higher demand "[w]ith many states issuing stay-at-home orders, and many public library buildings closed during the COVID-19 pandemic." The article goes on to explain how "several entities have attempted various methods in an attempt to address issues of e-book accessibility" and the role that Congress could play by amending copyright laws to improve e-book lending.
  • COVID-19 Toolkit - Federal Depository Library Program, Federal Depository Library Program: "As Federal depository library staff and patrons are dealing with library closures, virtual work environments, and virtual service environments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding all of the information you need, and finding reliable information can be daunting." This toolkit provides access to information for federal depository library staff on FDLP operations during the pandemic, reliable U.S. Government information resources for FDLP patrons, and downloadable images.
  • "Deriving Value from Collections In the Time of Corona (COVID-19)," Margot Note, Chris Cummings, and Rachael Cristine Woody, Archives AWARE, May 19, 2020: "The webinar is a call to action for enhancing museum and archives collection programs online through adaption and repurposing of content, reviewing digital usership and digital collection best practices, and capturing the value of your online collections work to broadcast to administrative stakeholders. By combining traditional archival administration with innovative uses of digital collections, archivists can advocate for their collections, enriching their value in a period of uncertainty. The aim of the webinar is to help archivists and museum professionals cultivate their skills to become better promoters of themselves, their repositories, and their profession."
  • Guide to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) for Public Libraries," Bobbi Newman, Midwest Matters - blog of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region, February 27, 2020: This blog post is a compiled list of online resources about COVID-19 intended to be utilized by public libraries. This list includes resources from MedlinePlus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, maps and visualizations, and Spanish language resources.
  • "Here's What you Need to Know about the Library Reopening" press release, Pima County Public Library, May 15, 2020: "All Pima County Public Libraries will reopen with limited services on Monday, May 18, at 10 am. There is a lot of information regarding these services, so we've pulled it all together. Our goal is to make visiting the library as seamless as possible. In order to do so, we ask that customers read and understand what we'll be doing to make that happen."  
  • "Librarians in Phoenix Become Healthcare Workers," Kelly Jensen, Book Riot, July 8, 2020: In this article, Jensen writes, "Phoenix, like many — but not all — cities, doesn’t have its own public health department but instead invests resources into a county-wide public health unit. Since the city doesn’t have its own health department, administrators are calling in other public employees to help out, including librarians."
  • Reimagining the Law Library in the Times of COVID-19,” Ellyssa Valenti Kroski, Karen Oesterle, Emily Moog, Phoebe Hurtte, LawLines, May 5, 2020: "We here at The New York Law Institute find ourselves in unprecedented times amid the COVID-19 virus, as do many other law libraries in New York City, across the nation, and around the world. As we contemplate re-opening the doors of the library during this uncertain period, we turn to our steadfast skills in preparation, organization, and research as well as advice from our library community to guide us."
  • Reopening: Guidance for Libraries, American Industrial Hygiene Association: "The purpose of this guide is to provide clear and actionable guidance towards the safe operation of library facilities through prevention, early detection, and control of COVID-19."


Handling Library Resources and Collections

Handling Library Resources and Collections

According to various scientists and library professionals, the best way to handle new shipments and returned resources (a.k.a Circulation) is to quarantine them for specific times based on packaging material and format:

  • A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, COVID-19 can remain on cardboard for up to 24 hours and plastic for up to 72 hours.
  • Understanding the need for quarantine, Fletcher Durant, from University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries suggests a minimum of 24 hours to a maximum of 14 days for everything. 
  • Dr. Julia Marcus emphasizes that “the amount of virus decreased rapidly over time” on cardboard and paper.
  • Dr. Akiko Iwasaki: explains that the “virus is pretty stable on [materials] like plastic and steel” and that the stability of the virus on cardboard is “pretty good,” making transferring the virus easier. 

Because opinions vary and research is taking place and being applied in real time, is imperative that we have protocols on how mail and library resources will be handled when the Law Library staff returns to campus. The resources in this section provides suggestions for quarantining and handling materials and are intended to inform Law Library discussions and decisions about how we will adapt to a work environment that will be impacted by the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the indefinite future. This information will aid the Law Library in addressing how best to serve each other and our community.   

Additional questions for the Law Library to consider:

  • In addition to considering the suggestions for quarantine durations, and while continuing to follow all of the guidelines provided by the CDC, we should be consider what our protocols will be when accepting shipments from Campus Mail, UPS FedEx, and Amazon (e.g. Do we stop signing for items? When possible, do we have delivery people notify us of their arrival while leaving deliveries on the dock for us to grab/quarantine?). 
  • What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) do we need and do we have access to it (e.g. Is it available to order? Does Facilities Management have better access to PPE?)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • "Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and other Types of Collections," video, presented by Dr. David Berendes and Dr. Catherine Rasberry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Institute of Museum and Library Resources, March 30, 2020. In this video, Dr. Berendes  and Dr. Rasberry emphasized that contamination from books and shipments in cardboard is relatively low and if virus was present it “would be present in very low qualities and would die off pretty quickly (Berendes).” Berendes emphasized the importance of reviewing and updating emergency operation plan(s) and following CDC guidelines 
Type of Exposure or Prevention Recommendations from CDC (via this video)
Staff and Patrons Quarantine space/room for 24 hours before cleaning
Clean and disinfect all hard surfaces after 24 hour quarantine
Gloves and mask are not necessary 
Exposure to virus is low, no virus should be left in the air in the room post-quarantine, with the exception of hard surfaces 
Shipments/Incoming Resources

Cardboard is relatively safe because virus does not live long on surface and does not transfer to humans as easy. 

If concerned about potential contamination, quarantine items for 24 hours  
Plastic packaging can hold potentially the virus longer than cardboard
Use disinfectant or 60% alcohol spray to disinfect plastic packaging, no quarantine needed once disinfected 
Books  Paper is relatively safe because virus does not live long on surface and does not transfer to humans as easy
If concerned about potential contamination, quarantine items for 24 hours
If book is covered in Mylar, use disinfectant or 60% alcohol spray to disinfect cover, no quarantine needed once disinfected 
Electronics Since these items have hard surfaces, the virus lives longer and is easily transferred to humans 
Use disinfectant or 60% alcohol spray to disinfect packaging, no quarantine needed once disinfected 
CDs and DVDs Since these items have hard surfaces, the virus lives longer and is easily transferred to humans
Use disinfectant or 60% alcohol spray to disinfect plastic packaging, no quarantine needed once disinfected 
Carpet and other soft, porous surfaces Is relatively safe because virus do not live long on porous materials  
Clean with disinfectant or launder if possible 

Additional CDC Related Resources:

Northeast Document Conservation Center  

For New Resources:

  • "3.5 Disinfecting Books and Other Collections," Northeast Document Conservation Center, updated March 26, 2020:" In this article, the NEDCC "recommends a 72-hour quarantine of collection items as the safest and most effective way to disinfect them after handling by staff and patrons." The NEDCC goes on to advise that "an appropriate quarantine time for paper or plain cardboard products would be a minimum of 24 hours, while an appropriate quarantine time for books covered in polyester (e.g. Mylar) or other plastics, as well as plastic-based materials such as CD’s and DVD’s, is 72 hours."

For Circulating Books:

  • "Disinfecting Circulating Books," Northeast Document Conservation Center, n.d.: In this document, the NEDCC "recommends a 24 to 48-hour quarantine of returned books as the safest and most effective way to disinfect them." The NEDCC goes on to advise against the use of liquid disinfectants and UV ray exposure. The NEDCC recommends that, in all circumstances, staff wear gloves when moving items into quarantine and wash hands per CDC guidelines. The NEDCC goes on to explain that if space cannot be dedicated to quarantining items, "staff can put the item in a bag until the 24 to 48- hour period is over so staff do not accidentally handle the item during the quarantine period."

For Special Collections

  • COVID-19 Basics: Disinfecting Cultural Resources," video and transcript, presented by Mary Striegel, posted by Sean Clifford, March 25, 2020, Northeast Document Conservation Center: In this video, while Stiegel answers five questions in relation to COVID-19, she provides recommendations on how to handle historic materials that cannot be disinfected by liquids and UV ray exposure. In these circumstances, Stiegel states that "[i]solation is [the] preferred method to deal with museum objects and collections." She goes on to explain that isolation "will cause the least potential damage to the resources and provide a safe environment for the public once an appropriate length of time has passed. [Th NEDCC] recommend the isolation of a building, a site, or a collection for a minimum of 9 days based on our literature review."

UArizona Libraries

(Update: As of 7/22/20 quarantine time has changed to a minimum of 24 hours) While the Law Library was one of the first of the UArizona Libraries to move staff to working from home and eventually closing our doors to the public, Main library kept is doors open to students until April 8, 2020. Since Main stayed open longer and essential personnel continue to work on site, Facilities Management, library departments, and other U Arizona library locations were able to develop and implement protocols for handling mail and library resources to best protect staff. The table below provides and overview of what they have implemented:

Staff Member/Department Protocols Additional Details

Hayri Yildirim, Director of Facilities Management

Continuing to receive mail but quarantine them in the shipping area for 3 days. Any boxes or invoices, we take a picture and send it to the department head to see if they deem it essential.
Empting out the outside book drop on Tuesdays and Fridays. We put them on carts and store them in a room for at least 9 days.
Uses all of the PPE and safe processes are followed. Must wash their hands after every delivery and any kind of handling.
Usthe masks only for 2 hours and then dispose of them no matter what.
Have a separate bag that we store all used PPE materials and disposed promptly.
Have an air curtain in our shipping area which is on at all times when the dock doors are open.
When mail is delivered to departments, mail space was created, away from all other materials, so that we don't get cross pollination.
New and pre-ordered books that are received go on a clearly marked cart with the date on it using FIFO process.
Safety and well-being of the staff is our utmost concern and when in doubt we do not process things until Hayri uses the proper PPE and goes through first

Teresa Hazen, Department Head, DDA

Reiterates Faculties Management’s protocols, “quarantining for up to nine days. It's probably over cautious, but it does bring peace of mind when I have to open boxes and envelopes that it's been sitting for over a week. We worked out a system with our facilities staff who are still on site to put in bins/on carts and label the date.”
For Acquisitions, they are quarantining received materials and then a staff member is going on-site (currently her), every Friday, to sort through the mail, open boxes, check packing lists, and scan invoices so acquisitions staff can continue to pay the bills. Gloves are worn.
Asked our vendors (OCLCEBSCO, and ProQuest) to hold as much print material as possible but there are some things still coming through.

Ellen Knight, Manager of Resource Sharing and Streaming Services, DDA

In addition to what Hayri and Teresa shared, Main stopped borrowing physical items form other libraries and stopped purchasing physical items at the same time.
Incoming mail has slowed significantly. 
Material returned by our users inside the building is quarantined before it was checked in and re-shelved.
Michael Mayer, Collection Maintenance Supervisor for Main and Science & Engineering Libraries Our temporary workers and I had a chance to do pick-ups (at Main) after the students left and before the library closed to essential personnel only. Any items remaining on the floors at Main and WSEL (and on carts in our check in areas) have gone beyond the recommended quarantine time period.
Unless Collection Maintenance receives specific instructions, my thought was that upon our return we disinfect all shelving carts that come through B205 on a scheduled basis. Not sure if we need to do anything precautionary with the physical materials after we've determined that they are outside the quarantine time and they are ready to be sorted and shelved.
After students return we will want to review our process for handling in house material that have obviously been used by patrons (return shelves, tables, aisles). I don't think it would be overly cautious for our student employees to use gloves when picking up these materials and following the same quarantine process we are using for returned materials.
These are early days and I've not run these suggestions by anyone so it would probably be prudent to get everyone who handles materials coming in and out of B205 to meet and discuss our processes. 

Additional Resources

  • "Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1," Neeltje van Doremalen, Ph.D., Trenton Bushmaker, B.Sc., Dylan H. Morris, M.Phil., Myndi G. Holbrook, B.Sc., et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, April 16, 2020: In this letter to the editor, the authors provided a summary of the research they conducted where they "analyzed the aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 and compared it with SARS-CoV-1, the most closely related human coronavirus."
  • Arizona Archives and COVID-19, Arizona Archives Alliance: This web page contains "helpful links to guide archival institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic." Included are: helpful links; conservation, preservation, materials handling, webinars, blogs, and articles.
  • "Continuously Active Surface Disinfectants May Provide Barrier Against Spread of Viruses," Rosemary Brandt, University Communications, University of Arizona, May 12, 2020: In this article, Brandt reports, "As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, UArizona researchers are evaluating the potential of antiviral surface coatings in continued defense against the environmental spread of viruses."
  • COVID-19 Research Partnership to Inform Safe Handling of Collections, Reopening Practices for Libraries, MuseumsInstitute of Museum and Library Services, April 22, 2020: This web page provides an overview of the new collaboration between the Institute of Museum and Library Services, OCLC, Inc., and Battelle "to support the nation’s libraries and museums as they consider safe reopening practices in light of COVID-19." For the latest updates, subscribe to IMLS news and visit the IMLS Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates web page.
  • How to Sanitize a Collection During a Pandemic: Conservators Weigh in on the Mysteries Handling During COVID-19," Lara Ewen, American Libraries Magazine, March 27, 2020: In this article, Ewan examines the challenges to keeping libraries safe for employees and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ewen goes on to discuss new ways that libraries are handling the sanitation of materials and surfaces with the knowledge that "historical information on sanitizing library materials is lacking." "
  • "Guidance for Managing Federal Depository Library Collections Safely During COVID-19," Federal Depository Coordinator and staff, Federal Depository Library Program: "This guidance is intended to provide information to Federal Depository Coordinators and their staff on how to safely maintain services to users and safeguard collections during the COVID-19 pandemic. As libraries open to provide needed services to users, each Coordinator should ensure these best practices to avoid spreading the virus or damaging library materials." 
  • List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2,” Environmental Protection Agency, April 9, 2020: This webpage contains a searchable database of products that meet the "EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19." 
  • Pandemic Preparedness -Resources for LibrariesAmerican Library Association: This webpage "provides information about preparing for a pandemic, including library-specific policy suggestions and more universal resources on pandemic education, prevention and preparation. Some of the resources are specific to seasonal influenza outbreaks and the 2019/2020 COVID-19 pandemic, but can be used more universally to help educate and inform decisions on pandemic prevention and preparedness." This webpage includes topics such as: library response to COVID-19, topics to include in library policies, ALA resources, local, state, and federal resources, and professional development and training.
  • REALM Systematic Literature Review, REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) Project: "The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project has produced a systematic literature review to help inform the scope of the project’s research and the information needs of libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs). Battelle researchers completed the review, which includes findings from available scientific literature. This review focused on studies of virus attenuation on commonly found materials, such as paper, plastic, cloth, and metal; methods of virus transmission; and effectiveness of prevention and decontamination measures."
  • "REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums: Materials Testing and Resource Overview," REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) Project, August 4, 2020: "Join us to learn more about the testing process, how to present results to your stakeholders, project resources to inform your local decisions, and what you can expect from the project in the months to come. "
  • Surface Disinfection Recommendation Table, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, ALAMarch 25, 2020: This table provides recommendations for the cleaners and concentrations to use to disinfect resources based on material. 
  • "UArizona Makers Race to Provide Personal Protective Equipment," Mikala Mace, UANews, April 8, 2020: In this article, Mace reports that "[c]reators across campus are designing and manufacturing solutions for local hospitals short on equipment like masks, face shields and more." She goes on to report who the AZ Makers Fighting COVID-19 are, the types of PPEs being made, and the processes utilized to manufacture them.
  • "Union - At Least 36 Employees in Tucson Facility Tested Positive for COVID-19," Sam Radwany, KGUN-9 NewsMay 21, 2020: In this article, Radwany reports that "[t]he union representing UPS workers in Tucson says there has been an outbreak of COVID-19 at one of its facilities." Radwany goes on to report the extend of the outbreak and steps that UPS is taking to protect its employees and the public.



  • "COVID-19: Work from Home Wellness for Employees Flyer," Kaiser Permanente: This flyer offers "10 tips to enhance [employees] well-being while working remotely." 
  • How COVID-19 is Impacting the Workplace, WELCOA: This web page provides resources for employees and employers that "address all aspects of employee wellness and organizational performance." This web age also provides tool kits for "worksite wellness [...] designed to ease some of the heavy lifting [employees/employers] are tasked with during this unprecedented time."
  • On-Demand Video, UArizona Life & Work Connections: "Do you want to expand your personal wellness toolkit, or to invest in your team's well-being? We've prepared videos on a wide array of topics. Build your knowledge, skills, and abilities – whenever you're ready."
  • Support and Resiliency Hub, UArizona Life & Work Connections: This web page is intended as a information hub in for "adaptation, compassion, and well-being during the novel coronavirus pandemic" for the UArizona community. Resources include: support chat sessions, counseling, information on dependent care, and nutrition and health coaching.

Note: See also the General tab for additional resources.

OCLC Virtual Town Hall: Libraries and the COVID-19 Crisis 

Below is an overview of the topics and responses from the panel and participants of this town hall.  Also included is few of the resources discussed by the panel and participants.

  • Current Status  

-What is your institution’s current status? 

-Mostly working remotely 

-Providing online chat services and virtual reference 

-Cataloging from photographed resources 

-Zoom meetings 

-Regular check-ins 

-Some staff working in closed libraries 

-Cleaning up collections 

-Working with returned and new resources 

-Providing curbside services 

  • How did institutional changes evolve? 

-Started with looking at opportunities for remote work 

-Fairly quick transition to completely online and/or working within closed libraries 

-Started off with a huge technological learning curve but have now settled in 

  • How were decisions reached? 

-Library/University/College-based Covid-19 Task Forces 

-Following CDC guidelines 

  • Potential Long-Term Implications  

-For staff? 

-Smaller budgets 

-Smaller staff 

-Continued flexibility from and for staff 

-May need to accommodate for anxiety and mental trauma of staff 

-For the community? 

-Change of use of resources 

-Hesitancy of public to use resources because of potential contamination 

-Increased need of technical resources and staff assistance for job assistance, unemployment, and financial help 

-For overall planning? 

-Hoping for the best but expecting to fall somewhere in the middle 

-Steady leadership 

-Highlight benefits from circumstances 

-Improved communication between colleagues and libraries 

-Improved technical abilities and versatility 

-Hoping that from community hubs being shut down that, after return from closure, a new appreciation for libraries, staff, and services will occur 

-How are you practicing, and encouraging others to practice, self-care? 

-Go outside/fresh air 

-Take breaks from computer 

-Remember that normal levels of productivity are not expected 

-Leave over-achiever tendencies behind for now 

-Have informal hang-out meetings 

-Take time away as needed 

-Hanging Together blog

-Web Junction with 320 courses for continued education and professional development 

-Web Junction e-journal

-Additional publications, blogs, articles, discussion guides