Preparations to begin resuming on-site public service at the South Brunswick Public Library (SBPL) have begun in earnest.
No date has yet been set, but authorization for limited curbside to go service is anticipated sometime later this month. Once New Jersey officially moves to Step 2 in its Road Back reopening plan this will be permitted.
To start the process for a reopening, SBPL Board of Trustees adopted a series of pandemic service policies at their May meeting to ensure safe operations for both the public and staff. Some particulars on borrowing books from library shelves post COVID-19 continue to be evaluated by administration, according to information provided by the library.
“Resuming public service will be gradual and be phased in per regulations, guidelines, best practices, and availability of PPE,” SBPL Director Chris Carbone said in the statement. “We are very cognizant of the safety of our public and staff”.
Carbone is also president of LibraryLinkNJ, the statewide cooperative for New Jersey libraries of all types and a member of TOPCATS, their Taskforce On COVID-19 Alignment, Trends and Strategies in New Jersey Libraries. The task force has created a Best Practices blueprint for reopening libraries throughout the state. This document was among those adopted by SBPL’s Board of Trustees on May 21 to use as a guideline for our re-opening process, according to the statement.
The re-opening will begin with the contactless pickup of requested items. Anyone with items borrowed from the library will be asked to start returning them to the building’s book drop at 110 Kingston Lane about July 1. At this time all book returns remain closed and no fines will be assessed. Returned items will be quarantined per public health guidelines.
If at all possible, patrons will be asked to return items belonging to other libraries directly to those libraries when they begin taking returns. The interlibrary delivery service is not operating at this time, according to the statement.
The curbside to go service will be for South Brunswick Public Library cardholders only. The patron experience is expected to be much like picking up dinner at a local restaurant.
The library is also expanding WiFi further out into the parking lot for users and discussing ways to help bridge the digital divide to provide access to those who may not have it at home, according to the statement.
Visit www.sbpl.info for a list of virtual programs as well as opening updates.