ROXBURY, NJ — The Roxbury Public Library, closed to the public for several months due to COVID-19, is preparing to reopen, library officials said.

The current plan calls for an Aug. 10 reopening to visitors who make appointments.

Library staff has made improvements designed to help the facility function safely and to offer a better use of space. Significant shelving reconfiguration was completed in July, a project that “transformed previously cramped areas of the library into a spacious, flexible space,” said the officials.

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To limit the number of people in the building, the library staff is asking people to reserve a date and time for browsing the shelves and selecting materials.

“Roxbury Public Library has been an industry leader in how to innovate and transform, especially in this time of crisis,” said library Board of Trustees Chair Tracy Baltz. “When the library reopens on Aug. 10, everyone will see firsthand the transformational changes our staff has implemented while the doors have been closed, not just the virtual ones patrons have enjoyed since March.”

Roxbury Public Library Director Radwa Ali is asking for cooperation from the public.

She said browsing will be limited to 45-minute appointments, once per day.  A limited number of visitors will be allowed in the building at the top of each hour, and all will be escorted out after 45 minutes to allow the staff to disinfect the building before the next group enters, according to Ali.

“And if coming inside to browse the shelves weren’t reason enough to make your appointment, we’ll also be hosting the Friends of the Roxbury Public Library Annual Book Sale from Aug. 10 through Aug. 21,” noted the director.

This year, the library is offering a “Mini Book Sale” spread throughout the main section of the building so people can scan the titles with enough social distancing space between them, officials said. “Books - mostly fiction in excellent quality - music CDs and DVDs will be on sale, with all income benefiting the Friends of the Roxbury Library,” said the library in a statement.

It said the library is currently not accepting book donations.

Those visiting the library must wear face masks, maintain social distance, use provided hand sanitizer and limit browsing time.

Contactless curbside pickup will remain available for the foreseeable future, especially to accommodate those who have difficulty with masks due to health conditions. “Curbside services have been incredibly successful,” said the library. “In the six weeks since starting to offer curbside, staff has fulfilled close to 1,500 orders for Roxbury residents.”

The Library asks that all materials be returned to its outside book-drops. Returned materials are quarantined for 72 hours before they are checked in, it noted.

To set up a time to visit the library, receive curbside service, apply for or renew a passport or visit the book sale, go to www.roxburylibrary.org or call the library at (973) 584-2400.

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