WAYNE, NJ – Bibliophiles rejoice! The Wayne Public Library will re-open their doors for the first time in over three months on Wednesday, July 8. Stacks of books for all ages and all genres, movies, music, magazines and more will be available at your [clean] fingertips.

The public’s safety is foremost in the minds of the library staff. “As excited as we are to welcome our community back inside our doors, we will do so in a measured and safe manner,” said Reference Librarian Patty Slezak. 

The library will have many of the same requirements that we have all become used to in other businesses and establishments, such as face masks occupancy limits, plexiglass and traffic flow. However, there will be some new rules that will be particular to public libraries. Slezak believes that some of these new rules may be frustrating to some, but “only by working together can we make sure that we get to our end goal: a full resumption of all of our library services,” she added.

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For example: Books returned will stay in quarantine for three days before they are put back on the shelf. Interlibrary lending remains suspended and there will be no in-house programming, such as movies and lectures until further notice.

A list of the modified library rules is at the end of this article.

New Wayne Library Director Ricardo Pino is more excited about the opening than anyone.

“This will be the first time I’ll see the public in here, so it will be fun!” he said with a broad smile.  Pino will be at the front door, greeting everyone as they come in. “I’ll be trying to help everyone acclimate to the new paradigm of libraries in our new normal.”

The staff is also excited. “There’s a great energy in the building as we are getting ready to welcome everyone in,” said Pino. “We’ve been laughing a lot, talking about team work and everyone is just looking forward to the opening.”

Slezak wanted to let the public know how much they are appreciated. “Thank you for all the adjustments you have already made,” she said. “And for your patience as we keep adjusting.”

To stay up to date with information about the Library reopening, Summer Reading for kids, teens & adults, virtual programming and much more, check out the Library newsletter here: https://waynepubliclibrary.org/library-newsletters.html

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The New Library Rules:

1. WPL will be open to the public during the following hours, starting July 8, 2020: Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Saturdays 10:00 AM through 5:00 PM. On Tuesdays, WPL will be open from 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM.

2. Building occupancy will be limited to 100 people at any one given time. That count will include library staff.

3. All members of the public will be required to wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth during the entirety of their stay in the building. Children under the age of 2, and those for whom doing so would inhibit their medical health, are exempt.

4. A minimum of six (6) feet must be maintained between individuals who are not of the same household (“social distancing”). As a guide, the combined width of two standard library shelves equals 6 feet.

5. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a guardian or parent while in the building.

6. Public computer sessions will be limited to one (1) hour a day.

7. Curbside pick-up of materials by appointment will continue to be offered to Wayne cardholders only.

8. Due to the current lack of statewide interlibrary loan delivery services, requests for materials not owned by a PALS Plus library cannot be placed. Requests for items owned by PALS Plus libraries can be placed and picked up at the owning library. Delivery between PALS Plus libraries cannot be guaranteed.

9. Any and all materials returned in the months of July and August 2020 will have late fees waived.

10. Returned items will be quarantined for three days, during which time they will remain on the patron’s record. Books on the district’s Summer Reading list books will be in quarantine for two days, with additional disinfection procedures performed to make them available sooner.

11. In-house programming will be suspended until further notice.

12. Only one (1) Quiet Study Room will be accessible and available to the public, with a maximum of two (2) people allowed in the room at any given time, and for a maximum of two (2) hours. Identification will be held at the Reference Desk for the duration of the session and returned upon the end of room usage. The room will be disinfected between reservations. The room cannot be used until after disinfection.

13. Meetings Room A and B will be available for meetings starting July 15, 2020, only as a combined room during the library’s modified operating hours, with a maximum of fifteen (15) occupants at any one time, and for a maximum of two (2) hours. Identification will be held at the Circulation Desk for the duration of the session and returned upon the end of room usage. The room will be disinfected between reservations. The room cannot be used until after disinfection.

14. Subscriptions to print versions of daily newspapers have been suspended until further notice.

15. Public restrooms will be limited to one (1) person, or members of one household, at a time.