Michigan library urges visitors not to microwave books amid pandemic
The library shared photos of a book returned to the branch with significant burn marks where the radio frequency tags once were. (Kent District Library - Plainfield Township Branch / Facebook)
TORONTO -- As libraries resume service in Michigan amid the COVID-19 pandemic, officials from one branch are politely urging visitors to avoid microwaving borrowed books after what appears to be a misguided sanitizing attempt by at least one patron.
In a Facebook post, the Kent District Library’s Plainfield Township Branch reassured its patrons that staff were taking necessary precautions to prevent further spread of coronavirus by quarantining returned books for 72 hours.
The post also warned visitors about the potential consequences of microwaving library books.
“The radio frequency tags in all KDL [Kent District Library] materials have metal in them. They will catch on fire in the microwave,” according to the notice posted on June 18.
The library also shared photos of a book returned to the branch with significant burn marks where the radio frequency tags once were.
The Kent District Library, which operates 19 branches, has been offering curbside pickup since June 15. The library’s branches are projected to reopen with limited service on July 6.
Books aren’t the only objects being microwaved for decontamination purposes during the pandemic.
Last month, Ontario’s fire marshal warned the public about the dangers of microwaving face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) after the province reported a spike in fire-related fatalities since the start of 2020.