LIVINGSTON, NJ — In recognition of National Friends of Libraries Week, the Township of Livingston recently recognized the Friends of the Livingston Public Library, a volunteer group whose mission is to support the Livingston Public Library (LPL) and all it represents to the Livingston community, and encouraged residents to get involved.

Additional details about how the LPL has continued to provide useful services to community members throughout the pandemic can also be seen below.

“We have always been very supportive of the library and what the library does, and [the library has] always been very supportive of us in the town as well,” said Mayor Rudy Fernandez. “For all the work that you do, we want to recognize the Friends of the Library. They're the ones that are out there that help raise money for the library and do a lot of other things behind the scenes for the benefit of library.”

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Fernandez presented a proclamation for the Friends of the LPL explaining that the volunteer group “raises money that enable enables the LPL to move from good to great, providing the resources for additional programming, much-needed equipment, support for children’s summer reading and special events throughout the year.”

“The work of the Friends highlights, on an ongoing, basis the fact that a library is the cornerstone of the community, providing opportunities for all to engage in the joy of life-long learning and connect with the thoughts and ideas of others from ages past to present,” he read from the proclamation. “The Friends set an example for all on how volunteerism leads to positive civic engagement and the betterment of our community.”

On behalf of the Friends of the LPL, Laurence Bergmann, co-president of the LPL Board of Trustees, thanked the township for acknowledging “how important the Friends are and what they do in terms of paying for programming” at the library and supporting township activities.

“I just want to say how incredibly grateful we are to the council for recognizing National Friends Week; and more importantly than that, we really want to thank the council and the township for all the tremendous support they provide our library,” said member Barbara Bye. “We are cognizant that the township and the council supports the library at a level higher than is required by law, and it's that commitment that really allows our library to be the terrific resource that it is.”

Despite being closed to the public for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, the LPL was able to continue serving the community thanks to the commitment of employees, librarians and Friends of the LPL.

In addition to offering a contactless pickup service to cardholders, the library also increased its digital content offerings for all ages. Digital content, including music, comics, videos, magazines, e-books and audiobooks, are always available to patrons even when the library is not open.

In August, the facility reopened for “Browse and Borrow” access to a selection of curated materials four days a week, providing access to patrons for up to one hour while they select materials and pick up holds, and computer access as well as reference/tech help has been available by appointment.

Additionally, the LPL recently introduced a new app-based product called “MeeScan” that allows patrons a completely contactless way to check out materials.

For the fall of 2020, the library is hosting a variety of virtual events, such as book clubs, film viewings, family trivia nights and virtual crafting classes for all ages, where participants are able to register and pick up materials from the library prior to the event.

As Livingston students return to school, the LPL encourages families to apply for a library card, which gives students access to books, movies, TV shows, music and more as well as a plethora of online literary resources and Tutor.com, which allows them to connect with a live tutor on a daily basis from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the available online materials or to apply for a LPL card in order to gain instant access to LPL's digital resources. CLICK HERE to sign up for the LPL Daily Newsletter for future updates.

Those interested in volunteering with the Friends of the LPL should contact friends_livlibrary@verizon.net or CLICK HERE to fill out the online forms.

Patrons are also urged to review the LPL’s revised Code of Conduct policy for an overview of all new safety procedures and expectations.

Masks are required for both contactless pickup and in-person browsing, and social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced. Patrons should not enter the library if they are experiencing a fever, cough or chills, and all patrons under age 16 must be attended by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult.

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