Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Era Ends on Monday

With the library board's announcement that the library is closing at 9 p.m. on Monday, December 4, 2017, it's officially the end of an era.  The Free Public Library of Berkeley Heights has been located at 290 Plainfield Avenue ever since it first opened to the public on September 20, 1953. Parts of the library building go back even further, as it was originally built in 1925 as the first Mt. Carmel Hall. The township purchased it from the Mt. Carmel Society in 1952 for $10,000.

Getting back to 2017: library staff are preparing for a move to 110 Roosevelt Avenue, which was the rectory of the Church of the Little Flower, and before that, a convent.  The Library Board said in an announcement yesterday that "there is considerable work to be managed and completed in order to make the property at 110 Roosevelt Avenue suitable and safe for use as a public library building (construction, permits, approvals, moving library property, moving and reconstructing network and Wi-fi access, etc.)" 

However, 110 Roosevelt Avenue is just a waypoint on the library's itinerary. A new municipal complex is being planned for Park Avenue, with a new library located on the second floor, but it is still in planning stages.

Moving a collection that is in flux is not a simple thing.  Some things you need to know:

  • You may no longer place reserves (or "holds") or interlibrary loan requests.
  • The book drop will be available until Dec. 20. After that, you can return items to other local libraries.
  • If you return items by February 1, you won't be charged overdue fines, as long as the original due date was December. For items due before December, fines will not accumulate while the library is closed.
  • Please don't donate books to us. Please do come buy something from our book sale - $0.50 a book or $5 for a bag of books.
  • Electronic resources (databases, ebooks, etc.) will still be available. However, in late December when the network components are moved, ebook access may go down for a time.
  • Your Berkeley Heights Library card can be used at these local libraries. Please note, you will need to take your library card and driver's license with you. Please come in ASAP and pay any fines and renew your card if it's expired or expiring soon, if you plan to use other libraries. The expiration date can be found on a sticker on your library card.

The Free Public Library of Berkeley Heights' goal is to reopen as soon as possible.  Keep an eye on the Library's home page or Facebook page for a reopening announcement.

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