Monmouth County Library Director Judith Tolchin informed the Monmouth County Library Commission plans continue to be modified and updated to ensure all health protocols are in keeping with latest regulations to ensure the safety of both employees and visitors to the County’s library headquarters and all of its branches for patron visitation.
Tolchin said the library is now in its second phase of reopening, when branches offer revised service hours for short browsing or to pick up requested materials, or to use the computers, which is by appointment only. Headquarters library, Eastern Branch, Allentown, Colts Neck, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean Township Oceanport, Wall and West Long Branch libraries are all open with limited services and hours, and Atlantic Highlands branch, which is located in Borough Hall, offers Door Side service. The complete list of branches and their hours is posted on the library’s website at www.monmouthcountylib.org.
Signs are posted to ensure all visitors recognize the mandate for wearing masks, not just while entering the building, but also when seated at tables, desks or anywhere within the library buildings. Visitors recognize the need to remain facially covered, the director said, and for the most part are fulfilling all mandates. Both staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings at all times, and all must observe social distancing as directed in the Governor’s Executive Orders. Patrons are requested to observe time limits since the library is operating at 25 percent capacity, and others may be asked to wait before entering a building.
“It is important for library users to know even if they do not like wearing the mask, they are doing it to help others as well,” the director said. “It is the only way we are able to keep each of the libraries open and available to all our library users who want to come in for entertainment, research or study.” It is because patrons wear masks and keep social distancing that the libraries are able to be open, Tolchin continued, noting violations of this executive order could lead to the necessity to close the buildings again.
“Our library users look forward to the facilities and services we offer, and know the importance of facial coverings and distancing. We are hopeful all realize the important role each plays by following these regulations . That is the only way we are able to stay open and continue to provide so much during this time. Keeping our standards high, and counting on our patrons to follow all the regulations, is a benefit to everyone,” the director said.