While the Governor gave permission for libraries to open in a very limited fashion starting July 2nd, New Jersey libraries are individually responsible for choosing when and how they are able to open in a manner that is safest for their community.
Opening to the public presents a variety of challenges for which we needed time to plan and put into place all-new policies and procedures in order to keep our patrons and our staff safe.
We are tentatively planning to open to the public – by appointment only – starting Monday, July 13, though that may change as the Governor’s rules for libraries have changed many times in recent weeks.
You can check our website and/or social media sites for updates on this plan as we get closer to the big day, and as we move forward with our opening process, heading into Phase 4. We are certainly looking forward to seeing our patrons again (!) — albeit with the state-mandated requirements of facial coverings, social distancing, and limited building capacity.
We have been offering contactless pickup Wednesday-Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm for several weeks now. We will continue to offer this service with a schedule change starting the week of July 13. At that time, pickup will move to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4 and Saturdays from 10-1. You may request items by phone or email. When you arrive for pickup, we will ask you to show some form of ID through the glass at the front window; a photo ID will be fine if you do not have your library card.
In addition to our pickup service, we will begin to offer access to the library by appointment-only on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 6 pm, and Fridays from 10 am-4 pm. By making an appointment, you will have the ability to browse the shelves to see what is available and checkout directly from staff, whereas contactless pickup offers you the option of books that you select in advance, which have been quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours; this option affords you greater social distancing.
Along with offering appointments to browse the adult book collection, we will also offer appointments for families to browse in the Children’s Area (one family at a time) or the Teen Area (one patron at a time).
Finally, we will offer appointments for computer use and/or WiFi use. Due to distancing concerns, staff will only be able to offer limited assistance on the computers and with other tasks.
All appointments will start on the hour (10 am, 11 am, etc.) and last for a maximum of 45 minutes, although you are welcome to use less than the allotted time. At a quarter to the next hour, all patrons will be asked to finish their tasks and exit the building so that staff may have a few minutes to clean all surfaces for the next visitors, wash their hands, change their gloves, and so on.
To make an appointment to visit the library for any of the reasons above, please call the library at 856-858-0649.
We will continue to have staff available from Monday-Saturday to answer phone calls and emails, help with reference questions, provide technical assistance with our digital collections, offer reading suggestions, and share the details of our Summer Reading Program.
See our updated Reopening Policies here.
We look forward to seeing each of you when you are ready to visit!