Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Berkeley Heights Public Library Plan to Move Forward with Re-Opening (approved 6/18/2020 – Stage 1 – Stage 3)

The Board of Trustees and Staff of BHPL are looking forward to a staged re-opening, focusing on the safety and well-being of patrons, library users, and staff. This plan is broken down into Stages based on regulations and guidance provided by State Administrative Orders and the New Jersey State Library.

Stage One: Preparation
Continuing to purchase the supplies needed to sanitize books, counters, computers, restrooms, etc. These supplies include gloves and masks for staff, an additional hand sanitizer dispenser (entry way and outside ADA restroom), containers of disinfecting wipes for all departments, and verifying the products used by the cleaning company. A spreadsheet will be maintained to track supplies to facilitate reordering and provide a list of vendors. Signs will be posted to remind staff to wear masks and gloves, sanitize work surfaces, and maintain, as much as possible, social distancing.

Plexiglass will be installed at the Circulation Desk.

Purchasing supplies necessary for curb-side delivery (bags for adults and children).

Creating a list of outlets to promote the re-opening schedule – BHPL website, BHPL facebook, BH Township Newsletter, Recreation Department mailings, BH Schools, Tapinto Berkeley Heights, and the electronic sign on Springfield Ave.

Stage Two: Return of Materials – June 22 – July 3
In order to quarantine materials for 72 hours, bagged returns will be accepted outside the building. Patrons can call from the parking lot or ring the bell. Collecting as many returns as possible during this time will facilitate returning books to the shelves and making more items available when holds are reinstated. The book drop will remain closed until July 6th.

          Hours June 22 – July 3 (closed July 4th and 5th)
          Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 – 4:00
          Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 – 8:00
          Saturday 9:00 – 4:00 and Sunday 12:00 – 4:00

Starting July 6th, the book drop will be available when BHPL is closed. Patrons will still call from parking lot or ring bell to return bagged items.

Returned items will be arranged, in order of date returned, throughout the lower level. Staff will wear masks and gloves when handling items. After 72 hours, book covers will be cleaned with sanitizing wipes, checked in and shelved.

All surfaces (tables, counters, circulation workstations, book carts, etc.) will be regularly cleaned and staff will change gloves when moving from task to task. Checklists for surfaces to be cleaned will be posted in each department.

Delivery of items ordered during the closure will resume.

During Stage 2 – notices to the public will include: updates on Stage 2 progress, specific dates, no donations, no books from other libraries with the exception of previously borrowed ILLs. BHPL cannot assume responsibility for books left outside when BHPL is closed or the book drop is full, reinforce digital services available.

Stage 3: Curbside Pick-Up – July 6th

Public will not be allowed in the building – public interacting with staff must wear masks.

Staff will continue to wear gloves and masks and regularly sanitize workstations, keyboards, and other work surfaces.

Based on NJ State Guidelines, returned items will still be quarantined and not checked in until after the quarantine period and exterior sanitizing.

Pick-up hours will be:
          Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 – 4:00
          Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 – 8:00
          Saturday 9:00 – 1:00 (July – mid-August)

After the initial return period (6/22 – 7/3), staff will restore holds which had been paused when BHPL closed. Cardholders will be able to reserve materials online, by email, or by calling. Email notification will resume.

For Books on the Run (reserve of items available on the shelves) staff will collect the items and call the patron when the items have been checked out and bagged for pick-up. A pick-up time will be confirmed. Patron can call from parking lot or ring the bell.

ILL and delivery service will not be available. Items returned here for other libraries will not be returned until the delivery service is reinstated. Berkeley Heights materials returned to other libraries will remain on patron cards until returned to BHPL.

Stage 3 – notices to the public will include Stage 3 updates with specific dates and reminder of delivery service limitations. Overdue notices will start on Monday, July 20th.


Stage 4: Gradual Re-Opening for the Public – date TBD
Limitations will be determined for how many people can be in the building and for how long.

Signs will be posted limiting the smaller rooms to only 1 person. In the main fiction room and reference area patrons can browse while observing social distancing. In the newspaper room 2 patrons can read while social distancing. Extra chairs will be removed from the rooms to discourage gathering.

Patrons in the hallways will be asked to observe social distancing to the extent possible.

Patrons will be able to come to the Circulation Desk to pick up holds, return materials (to the box inside the door to the main library), and checkout materials.

Signs will be posted asking patrons not to reshelve items while they are browsing and making selections. Items can be left on a table in each room to be collected by staff.

Patrons can call the Reference Department to reserve a public access computer, limited to 3 patrons at any time, with a limit of 2 hours if anyone has called or is waiting.

Staff will continue to wear masks and gloves and regularly sanitize work spaces.

Only the ADA compliant restroom will be open. Staff will check periodically.

Stage 4: Children’s Room – Gradual Re-Opening
The size and shape of this room and the size and ages of the clientele make this room particularly difficult to sanitize and enforce social distancing.

AWE computers, all toys, puzzles, stuffed animals, and craft supplies have been removed. A parent or caregiver with child/children can call to make an appointment to use the room for 20 minutes, time to be extended of no one is waiting. The adult is asked to keep the children in the same area.

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