MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Maplewood Library has released its multi-phase plan for restoring patron services. The phases will be implemented with the health and safety of the public and staff as top priorities.

Moving from one phase to the next is dependent on local and state assessment of risk. Under an Executive Order by Governor Murphy, libraries are to remain closed to the public until at least June 15, and possibly until July. This order also prohibits curbside pickup.

PHASE 1

Sign Up for SOMA Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Library buildings remain closed to the public. Free Wi-Fi is accessible outside both the Main and Hilton Branch Library buildings. Staff members continue to offer remote services and are preparing library materials and spaces for eventual reopening. Patrons can enjoy expanded access to the library’s ebooks, eaudiobooks and other digital resources.

PHASE 2

The Library buildings remain closed to the public but staff will provide curbside pick-up of holds for Maplewood residents with Maplewood Library cards during designated hours. Delivery will be provided to homebound library patrons. Curbside pick-up will allow for cars and walk-ups. Patrons and staff will be required to wear masks. Holds will be placed through the Library’s website or by phone. Public computer access may be available on the grounds of both library buildings.

PHASE 3

Phase 3 is contingent upon infection risks declining; physical distancing will still be mandatory. The Library buildings will be open for a few hours each day. The number of people allowed in the buildings at one time will be regulated. While open, there will be minimal staff/public interaction. The staff will assist patrons primarily through phone calls and emails. On-site staff will check out materials, provide concierge service for walk-ins, initiate faxes and release wireless print job. Patrons will be able to pick up holds but won’t be able to browse the shelves. Extended stays or gatherings will not be permitted.

PHASE 4

Phase 4 is contingent up the relaxation of physical distancing guidelines to allow for an increased but still limited number of people within the public areas of the buildings.

Additional library services will be added and hours will be extended. The majority of library services will be reintroduced. Meetings, programs and quiet room use will remain suspended.Computers will be accessible at physically distant intervals for acceptable lengths of time.

PHASE 5

Full library services will return to a “new normal” once distancing guidelines have been sufficiently relaxed or lifted, infection threat is considered low or non-existent, or a vaccine becomes available.

The Library buildings will resume pre-COVID hours of operation. Service desks will be fully staffed and all public computers will be available for use. Patron numbers will no longer be restricted but meeting room use will remain suspended.

PHASE 6

Group gatherings of all ages for library programs and meetings will be allowed at both locations, provided infection threat remains low or there is a vaccine.

Read More: Maplewood House Fire Injures Two

Read More: S.O. BOT Approves Civil Service Layoff Process

Read More: SOMA Restaurants Can Open June 15

Read More: South Orange Protest Graffiti

Read More: Die-in Protest in South Orange

TAPinto SOMA is a free online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village with no paywall. 

TAPinto SOMA is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.