MADISON (WKOW) -- Libraries in Madison are reopening their book drops, effective immediately.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the library system closed book drops while it was unclear how the virus spread.
That changed in May, when libraries began accepting returns again, but in mobile carts during curbside service hours. There was also a 72-hour quarantine period on items before check in.
"As more research indicates now that COVID-19 is primarily spread through direct contact with affected individuals, we are reopening our book drops and decreasing our quarantine period to 24 hours, ” said Library Director Greg Mickells in a news release. “The research has been reviewed by public health agencies and they agree that this is a safe step forward for our staff and the public.”
Library users will not be fined for materials that have been returned late. In August, the Madison Public Library Board eliminated overdue fines.
Library officials say users will find the items they return are checked in faster, but you may not notice faster service for holds and delivery of items from other libraries. All participating libraries in the South Central Library System have different procedures for quarantining of materials and libraries are still experiencing longer delays in transfer of materials between libraries than in the time before COVID-19.