SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - SBPL's reopening plans are getting very real!
Preparations to begin resuming on-site public service at the South Brunswick Public Library 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.
“Resuming public service will be gradual and be phased in per regulations, guidelines, best practices, and availability of PPE,” said SBPL Director Chris Carbone. “We are very cognizant of the safety of our public and staff”.
Carbone is also president of LibraryLinkNJ, the statewide cooperative for NJ libraries of all types and a member of TOPCATS, their Taskforce On Covid-19 Alignment, Trends and Strategies in New Jersey Libraries. The Taskforce 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.
The re-opening will begin with the contactless pickup of requested items. Anyone with items borrowed from the South Brunswick Public Library will be asked to start returning them to the Library building’s book drop at 110 Kingston Lane only 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. Unfortunately the interlibrary delivery service is not operating at this time.
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.
Accepting returned items and providing public access to Library items are two big priorities, as is providing internet access. There are many who depend on the Library for internet service. We are exploring expanding our 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.
Prior to its COVID-19 closing, the Library operated seven days a week with a full parking lot. Thousands of visitors came for the books, movies, classes, public computers, and more. While the current virtual programming and digital collections are being heavily utilized by patrons we do all miss the one-on-one interaction and look forward to this next step towards resuming traditional library services.
We ask your patience as this will be a gradual process that can only begin when state and local authorities say it is safe to do so. Please visit the Library’s social sites and website at www.sbpl.info to enjoy our virtual programs.
Using the local online and print media, as well as its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, SBPL will keep you updated on the emerging details about its reopening process in the coming days and weeks.
See you soon!