WASHINGTON, DC (WCMH) – Battelle is helping museums and libraries safely re-open to the public.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services, OCLC, Inc., and Battelle announced a partnership to help museums and libraries re-open with safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

IMLS Director Crosby Kemper says more than 13 billion items are in these museums and as public facilities open, safety protocol will be needed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  

“The challenge of working with collections is compounded by inconclusive information on how the virus survives on surfaces and how—or if—different types of materials can be handled to mitigate exposure,” said Kemper.

IMLS reports that over 1.35 billion people visit public libraries each year which is more than the attendance at sporting events.

Both Battelle and IMLS are working with local facilities to compile plans on when and how to safely reopen according to officials.

The partnership will have more details, as well as the anticipated timeline of results and information, which will be available in the coming week.