Madison Public Library book drops reopen for 24/7 returns

Madison Public Library announces a new virtual library card

MADISON, Wis. — All Madison Public Library locations have reopened book drops for 24/7 return of library materials.

According to a news release, the decision to reopen book drops and reduce the quarantine period was based on new guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Book drops were closed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but returns were again accepted at libraries in mobile carts during curbside service hours in May. At that time, there was also a 72-hour quarantine period for all materials.

On the reopening, Library Director Greg Mickells said: “Initially we did not know enough about how the virus was being transmitted. 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. 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 materials returned late during the pandemic have also not resulted in overdue fees after those fines were eliminated in August.