REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums
REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) is a research project conducted by OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle to produce science-based information about how materials can be handled to mitigate COVID-19 exposure to staff and visitors of archives, libraries, and museums.
Five materials that are commonly found in furnishings and exhibits of archives, libraries, and museums were selected for the sixth REALM lab test. Battelle researchers applied the COVID-19 virus to each item and measured how much remained after 2, 4,...
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This project is designed to be flexible and evolve as more becomes known about the virus and practices to reduce risk of transmission. The partnership will address known and emergent research questions in three phases.
This phase will collect, curate, and disseminate information and recommended practices for handling physical collections and facilities in anticipation of a phased-in or full reopening of public library buildings and services starting as early as May 2020. This phase will produce an initial set of research findings and related resources.
This phase will study a second set of materials and workflows across libraries, archives/special collections, and museums. The research activities will produce results of laboratory testing, a scientific literature review, toolkit resources, and related resources that provide updated or new information that may have emerged since Phase 1. A more fully designed website will be launched during this phase.
In Phase 3, the project will continue to monitor and review emerging research that may require updates and additions to what has been created during the first two phases. In addition, as the rate of transmission for the virus changes over time and communities continue to adjust to those changes, the policies and practices of libraries and museums may also warrant a change. A third literature review and additional laboratory testing is planned for this phase.