REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) is a research project conducted by OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle to produce and distribute science-based COVID-19 information that can aid local decision making regarding operations of archives, libraries, and museums.
This project was designed to be flexible and evolve as more becomes known about COVID-19 and the impact of a public health crisis on archives, libraries, and museums. The partnership has addressed research questions and information needs in three phases.
Collect, curate, and disseminate information and illustrative practices for mitigating transmission of the COVID-19 virus while handling circulating library collection items. Produce an initial set of research findings and related resources.
Conduct laboratory tests on the lifespan of the COVID-19 virus on a range of materials handled frequently in archives/special collections, libraries and museums. Produce scientific literature reviews, toolkit resources, and share illustrative examples from the field. Distribute information through project website, mailing list, webinars, and speaking engagements.
Continue to monitor and review new COVID-19 research and community response, and update project resources and information as needed. Host and summarize discussions among archives, libraries, and museum practitioners about lessons learned during the pandemic that can help prepare institutions for future public health crises. Design and develop on-demand course content to help with future crises and support staff training needs.