Posted by Lori Ayre on March 23, 2020

I've suggested that the prudent approach to dealing with returned material is to quarantine everything for three days before anyone deals with it.  MARCH 24, 2020 UPDATE:  Three days may not be enough. I'd rather staff didn't handle any returns for X days at all, not even to check them in. But at some point, we are going to be moving into a "less closed" situation and libraries will want to do a bit more circulating of library material.  Some locations might still be doing some limited circulation such as filling holds and providing for curbside pick-up.  In my state of California, we aren't doing that since we are in complete lockdown but down the road, providing for limited holds fulfillment and curbside pick-up may make sense.

So, how do you implement limited and safe circulation. Well, one approach is offered by Andrew Fuerste-Henry. His library is using Koha so they may have more flexibility than some libraries. But since he is just recommending creating a new item status with some business rules applied, I'm guessing this can work for most, if not all, ILSs.

Here's his suggestion for how to create and set a quarantine status upon the return of library items:

If you've got more tips, I'd love to share them.  Send me a note or, better yet, contribute your ideas to our Discussion Forum at