Stop microwaving books: Michigan library frustrated by damaged books

Coronavirus: Library urges residents to stop microwaving books

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A library in Michigan is urging the public to stop microwaving its books as a method to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Kent District Library serving Grand Rapids, Michigan has so many damaged books from microwaving that it has taken its plea to social media.

Reminder that KDL will quarantine returned materials for 72 hours. The pictures below show what will happen, when you...

Posted by Kent District Library - Plainfield Township Branch on Thursday, 18 June 2020
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Every book at the Kent District Library contains a metallic radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that can and will burn in a microwave. Books that have been microwaved will burn pages in the book and could start a fire.

Elizabeth Guarino-Kozlowicz, regional manager of Kent District Library wondered where the method originated.

“I don’t know if it was something that they saw on the news — that they thought maybe the heat would kill COVID-19,” Kozlowicz told The Detroit Free Press.

The library said it uses U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines to ensure safety for using library materials. It also keeps all materials in quarantine for at least 72 hours.

Books at some libraries contain a metallic radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that can will burn in a microwave.
Books at some libraries contain a metallic radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that can will burn in a microwave. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)