You are here

Main Content

University Library Safety During COVID-19

As the CSUN campus transitions back to more on-campus instruction, the University Library continues to provide access to its many resources and services, both physical and virtual, all while upholding campus and government health and safety guidelines related to protecting the safety and well-being of its employees and users.

From pivoting to virtual collections and services only in March 2020 until starting its home delivery of physical books/media by mail at the end of August 2020, offering outdoor locker pickup service beginning in early March 2021, and providing limited in-library study space and workstation access to CSUN students beginning in late March 2021, the Library’s service points, staff workspaces, public spaces, and/or processes have been reviewed for compliance with health and safety guidelines.

Quarantining Library Materials

check in desk and sanitation in csun university library lobby
Welcome desk in the lobby of the CSUN University Library

In addition, by applying data from laboratory testing in 2020-2021 by the REALM Project to determine how long the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus may survive on materials common to archives, libraries, and museums, the CSUN University Library, along with the other CSU Libraries, in May 2020 created and shared protocols for quarantining books and other library materials, which cannot be effectively and efficiently disinfected, unlike non-porous surfaces. Since these studies were conducted, in April 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report about the low risk associated with the transmissibility of the COVID-19 infection from surfaces (fomites), and the Los Angeles County Public Health Department updated their Reopening Protocol for In-Person Services in Libraries indicating that we no longer needed to quarantine library materials.

As a result of the above report and protocol, and other information resources, including consultation with members of CSUN’s Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), and information gathered from outside public health specialists, and in the interest of quickly and efficiently supplying library materials to CSUN students, faculty, and staff, Library employees no longer quarantine library materials; instead, they continue to follow the campus’ health and safety requirements and responsibilities to maintain their own and the health and safety of Library users, which includes the following protocols:

  • washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer or wearing gloves when handling books and other library materials returned to book drops, retrieved from the stacks, and mailed out or placed in lockers for pickup;
  • not touching one’s face after handling library materials;
  • wearing masks, practicing 6-foot physical distancing, taking the required campus health screening survey, not coming to campus if sick, and other campus safety protocols;
  • wiping down (or encouraging users to wipe down) shared non-porous surfaces such as table-tops and computer equipment with Library-supplied disinfecting wipes before and after use.

Therefore, CSUN students, faculty, staff, and visitors who come in contact with library materials and surfaces are also expected to do their part to maintain their own and others’ health and safety, by following the above protocols.

Library Building Health & Safety

For library employees and students who enter the library to use a study space, computer, or reserve textbook/book, during the reservation process and once inside the library, they are reminded to follow campus health and safety guidelines, including taking the Employee or Student Daily Health Screening Survey before coming to campus, wearing a mask, maintaining six-foot distancing, and practicing hand and surface hygiene. Restrooms, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes will be available.

Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Ventilation

The University Library and other campus buildings are considered safe through daily cleaning and disinfection and HVAC mitigation as described under the heading, “Cleaning, Disinfecting and More,” which also includes, “Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC),” and “Other Things We Are Doing” on the CSUN Health and Safety webpage.

Together with our users, by adhering to these practices, and as public health circumstances improve and revised protocols allow, the University Library can continue to expand its services and access to collections and spaces.

More Information

Please visit Library Services and Resources to Support You During COVID-19 for the latest information on access to resources and services until the library is fully reopened.

For official information about COVID-19 prevention and data, please visit: