Library will quarantine books 10 days to protect readers

Librarian Jillian Gold at the Cordova Public Library drop box. (May 18, 2020) Photo courtesy of Debbie Carlson

You’ve heard of Alaskans signing books, binding books and sometimes even banning books — but what about quarantining books? Cordova Public Library will be disinfecting returned books and quarantining them for 10 days as part of a new program to return library access to residents.

The program, which began Monday, May 18, allows residents to request particular books and schedule a time to pick them up from the library’s drop box. Pickup will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8-10:30 a.m. and between 4-6:30 p.m. Books can be requested by email at [email protected] or by phone at 907-424-6667.

Readers unsure of what they’d like to read can send staff their favorite genres or authors and receive a list of suggested available books, said Cordova Public Library Director Debbie Carlson. The library’s inventory can also be checked through its online catalog.

The library has begun this partial reopening with two staff in the building at the time. Staff are following a rigorous set of social distancing procedures determined in part by the state, Carlson said. Some other Alaska libraries had previously begun implementing similar procedures for partial reopening, she said.