How do museums and libraries go about protecting rare items during a pandemic? KSMU asked the Meyer Library at Missouri State University and the Springfield Art Museum.
Meyer Library’s Special Collection contains one-of-a-kind materials, like letters from early Ozarks history, the newspapers from MSU’s founding, and the Rare Books Collection.
When campus closed down due to the coronavirus, Anne Baker, head of Special Collections at the library, said staff continued to check on the books “once in a while,” with campus being regularly patrolled by campus security. The archives remain locked anytime they’re not being used, and the library requires an MSU ID to enter.
Baker says the archives have adjusted their policies to keep staff and researchers safe.
“We’re looking at what we can do to minimize problems. We’re also looking at what other people in the profession are doing,” she told KSMU.
Also because of the pandemic, visitors can view the archives by appointment only. And anytime someone uses material, it’s quarantined for three days.
KSMU reached out to the Springfield Art Museum to ask about how it’s keeping its art safe. In an email, spokesman Joshua Best responded by saying: “The Museum doesn’t comment on our security policies and procedures in the media.”