An Update from our Director, June 13, 2020

June 13, 2020 // Filed under Blog

Hello everyone!

Over these last few weeks, it’s felt good to read posts on the Bubble and elsewhere from everyone wanting to see the Bernardsville Library reopen. I had an update ready on Thursday when rumors started flying in the library world that the governor would make an announcement at his press conference on Friday.

The rumors were right! I’m delighted to tell you that the governor gave permission for libraries to begin contactless circulation – “curbside service” starting on Monday, June 15. Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our staff and community, and we are working on securing adequate supplies of hand sanitizer, disinfectant, disinfecting wipes, gloves, masks and other protective equipment to keep everyone safe. We need a few days to clean and decontaminate the library, but we have a solid plan that I want to share now.

The book drop will open at 9:00 am on Monday, June 15. We want your books back…but slowly! Please keep in mind that over 4,000 items have been enjoying their extended stay vacations in your homes. While we will take your books any time, here’s a schedule that will help us out very much:

• Patrons with the last name beginning with A-F should return their materials via the library drop box during the week of June 15 – June 21
• Patrons with the last name beginning with G-L should return their materials via the library drop box during the week of June 22 – June 28
• Patrons with the last name beginning with M-S should return their materials via the library drop box during the week of June 29 – July 5
• Patrons with the last name beginning with T-Z should return their materials via the library drop box during the week of July 6 – 12

We will not start charging fines until after July 12, and we’ll update you with the deadline, so don’t worry about taking a few weeks to return them. Please note that for everyone’s protection, all returned materials will be quarantined for a period of time. Because of that it will be a few days before materials you have returned are removed from your record. Also, the turnaround time for high-demand items may be a little longer than usual.

Starting on June 22, you can order library materials by placing a hold through the catalog, calling the library at 908-766-0118 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or emailing us at (If you get our answering machine, leave a message or call back.) We’ll need 24 hours to fill your order, and we’ll offer various pickup times during the week. You’ll drive up to the library and we’ll come out and place your items in your trunk or cargo hold. (Accommodations will be made for those walking to the library.) More details to follow next week.

In addition, in accordance with the Governor’s restrictions, we will be launching a virtual Summer Reading Program featuring daily online professional performances, story times, author talks, and crafts and projects along with a reading log program for all ages from birth to adult. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the summer. We’ll be sending out details about that next week too.

Please be patient as we ramp up. We must follow the Governor’s orders and provide only the services he is allowing at this time. In addition, many of our staff are still furloughed and because of that, the times and services we can offer are limited. We’ll continue to adjust upward to meet demand!

I am sure that you have many questions, and I hope that this has answered at least some of them. Please contact me at with your questions, feedback, and concerns.

We are very much looking forward to providing contactless service and seeing you all again!

Best wishes, and be well,
Alexandria Arnold, Executive Director

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