10/30/2020 Update: Reduction of Delivery Quarantine Time to 5 Days

Published 10/20/2020 3:20 PM CT

IHLS Members,

We are pleased to announce that in anticipation of guidance for libraries from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Heartland Library System is reducing the quarantine time for interlibrary delivery materials and tubs from 7 days to 5 days, starting immediately. We will continue to quarantine these items on libraries' behalves within our hubs. Should IDPH and DCEO recommend a shorter or longer quarantine time, then we will adjust our quarantine period accordingly.

Please continue to add a date to the outside of your tubs in the plastic label pocket. This date should indicate the last time that items inside the tub were touched by human hands.  

IHLS Delivery leadership and the IHLS Delivery Working Group regularly review the available science regarding library materials, library environments, and what is known about the transmission and infectiousness of the coronavirus. After reviewing and considering the newest research and literature reviews to the best of our ability as non-virologists, we came to the conclusion that it is safe to make this change to 5 days prior to receiving a response from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Some of our sources include:

Meanwhile, IHLS staff continue to practice the following safety procedures:  

  • disinfecting commonly touched workspaces and tubs, paying special attention to high-touch areas such as handles,
  • requiring handwashing every 30 minutes,
  • requiring masks for IHLS staff when around library materials or other people
  • using temperature scanners to monitor the temperatures of all staff members before they enter an IHLS building and sending staff members home if they have a temperature reading above the state guideline of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit,
  • following the Emergency Travel Order issued by the Chicago Department of Public Health,
  • following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health, and
  • regularly reevaluating our policies and procedures for improvement.

If you have any questions about the quarantine time and procedures or our in-house practices, please contact your Delivery hub manager.

Thank you to all of our member libraries for your continued support.


Leslie Bednar, Executive Director 

Ellen Popit, Associate Director 

Susan Palmer, Director of Operations