Time for a few words (nearly 600 of them, in fact) from South Plainfield Library:
First of all, we’re still closed due to the current COVID-19 situation. We’ll remain closed until further notice. At present, it hasn’t been determined exactly when “further notice” will be given, but we’ll make sure you know just as soon as we do. Until then, please stay at home as much as possible and don’t worry about your Library items. As we do during weather emergencies, we’re taking all of this into account when it comes to due dates and such. And returning your Library materials should be low on your list of priorities right now. Just keep our stuff in good order until the “all clear” sounds, then you can drop it off. As for expiration dates on Library cards (which are needed to access some of our on-line resources), we can manage those from outside the building, so you don’t have to worry about those either. And as for actually getting a brand new Library card, we can take care of that, as well. Just send your information (full name, address, phone number, date of birth, and NOT your social security number) to our director Linda Hansen. Her e-mail address is email@example.com. We’ll set up a temporary record for you that will run until we re-open. After that, you’ll need to come in with proof of address for a permanent card.
So, what can we provide during this period? Well, we have a number of on-line resources available through our website. (See below for the address.) For example, we’re posting daily “Boredom Busters” ideas on our Facebook page (see below for that address, too) and our Wordpress site, both linked from our website. Meanwhile, your humble correspondent is using some of his downtime to get used to some of said resources. Two video resources are AcornTV, which features a selection of British TV programs (I’m slowly getting caught up on “Midsomer Murders”) and IndieFlix, featuring independent and classic films and shorts (the old Fleischer “Superman” cartoons are great). One resource I was already using was our local newspaper archive, available through the “Services” tab on our website. It features digitized back issues of the "South Plainfield Observer", as well as the old “South Plainfield Reporter”, dating back into the 1990s. There’s also a link to an archive of the older “South Plainfield Review”, with issues from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. For a wider selection, there’s also the link to ProQuest Newspapers, which has archived articles from a number of publications in the Northeast dating back into the 1980s. (It lists over 72,000 articles on “Doctor Who”. Can you imagine how many there must be on “Star Trek”?) And these are just the ones I’m getting started with. I’ll let you know how I make out with our e-book collection.
Well, we hope you’re all staying as safe as possible during this very trying time. For any updates on our situation, you can check our website at www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/southplainfieldlibrary. You can also check our website for updates on the general COVID-19 situation from the CDC and other reputable sources. You can find these links on the left side of our home page, under the “Boredom Busters” link. We look forward to resuming our operations as soon as we can. Until then, try to relax and wait things out. (See? Reading this column kept you occupied for about five minutes. Who says libraries aren’t providing a service today?)
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