(Voorhees, NJ) – The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety recently released a new administrative order allowing for libraries throughout the state to resume some outdoor operations. All libraries in New Jersey had previously been ordered closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as part of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 103.
The order allows all public libraries to reopen to the public with strict policies in place, including:
- No patron is permitted to enter the brick-and-mortar premises;
- In-premises operations are limited to employees who are responsible for the operation required for curbside pickup/drop-off;
- All transactions should be handled in advance or by other means that avoid person-to-person contact;
- Patrons are required to wait in their vehicles until staff delivers or retrieves their materials; and
- Designated employees are responsible for bringing materials from the facility and place them directly in a patron’s vehicle.
The Camden County Library System will begin offering curbside pick-up and drop-off services at branches throughout the county in July, though an exact date remains undetermined. Returns for items checked out prior to the closures will be available in advance of full curbside services.
“The Camden County Library System has been continuing to serve the community throughout this crisis by expanding its online and digital services for children and adults, and by extending access of those services to more residents,” said Freeholder Melinda Kane, liaison to the Library System. “As we look towards the next phase of our recovery, the library’s focus is on providing additional in-person services while prioritizing the safety and security of its staff and its patrons.”
The recent order also requires several infection control and mitigation measures to be in place before libraries can resume in-person operations. These include:
- Infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue use and disposal;
- Employees are provided break time for repeated handwashing;
- Sanitization materials are provided to staff;
- High-touch areas must be frequently sanitized; and
- Employees and staff must be required to wear masks or face coverings and gloves.
Information regarding the resumption of library systems will be posted to the System’s website as it becomes available. As curbside services begin, the Library System will continue to offer virtual programs and classes, virtual meeting rooms, access to e-content, and reference services from librarians via email and video calls.
Established in 1921, Camden County Library System seeks to meet the recreational, informational and educational needs of its customers with locations in Camden, Bellmawr, Gloucester Township, Haddon Township, Merchantville, Winslow Township and Voorhees Township. The Library is governed and supported by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the Camden County Library Commission. For more information about the Camden County Library System, visit us online at http://www.camdencountylibrary.org/ or by calling (856) 772-1636.