BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ As of this Monday, June 29, members of the Bernards Township Library can "order" a book, audiobook, or movie and then pick it up via curbside service provided by the library staff. The process is outlined on the Bernards Township Library website. [updated]

Pickup hours will be Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

No curbside pickup on Independence Day holiday

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However, the library will be closed, and no curbside pickup will be available on July 3 and 4. Library patrons who still have materials they had borrowed before the library shut down in March to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus have already been able to return materials to book drop offs beginning last Monday, June 22.

After ordering their library materials, patrons will receive a notification by phone, text or email when their item(s) will be ready for pickup, during which the items will be placed in the borrower's vehicle trunk by a member of the library's "curbside team."

The pickups will be carried out in three designated parking spaces behind the library building at 32 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.  

Borrowers can pick up their items the next day after receiving notification that materials have been made ready: 15 minutes before arriving for pickup, they must call 908-204-3031 option 1.

Borrowers will need to confirm their name and library card number. 

Upon arriving at the library parking lot, vehicles will be directed to park in one of the three designated spaces in the library's back lot (parallel to the library building). If these spots are full, borrowers should pull into another spot until a curbside spot is free.

"Please have a mask on, open your trunk and return to/stay in your car. Your items will be delivered to your car by a staff member. If you need further assistance, please call the curbside team at 908-204-3031 ext. 1," according to the directions.

How to place an order for library materials

Library patrons can reserve and place a hold on an item for pickup in one of several ways:

- Placing a hold online in the library catalog.

- Emailing the staff at curbside@bernardslibrary.org.

- Calling the library at 908-204-3031, option 1.

- Texting the library at 908-365-0776.

Those who are not sure exactly what they want to borrow can fill out the What Should I Read Next form. "We'll prepare a bundle of books for you," according to the library staff.

Items not picked up within seven days will be returned to the shelves.

Summer Reading Program to be held

The library also will hold its annual Summer Reading Program for children, teens and adults. This year's theme is "Imagine Your Story."

Returns to be accepted in the book drops only

Returns will be accepted in the book drops only, and staff will not be able to handle returns. Items that have been returned will be quarantined for 72 hours and will remain on the borrower's account during this time. However, no late fees will be incurred while the returned library materials are in quarantine.

Fine money will not be accepted at curbside pickup. Fines can be paid by check and mailed to 32 South Maple Ave. Basking Ridge, NJ. The library is not able to accept cash at this time, according to the website.

At this time, holds are only available on items owned by Bernards Township Library. Other libraries in the MAIN library system, to which Bernards Township belongs, may allow members to pick up items curbside, but patrons will need to contact those libraries directly, according to the website.

All items must be returned to the library where they were picked up. 

The library also is not accepting any donations at this time.