According to a 2020 study from Gallup, “Visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity Americans engage in.” The study states that the average U.S. adult makes 10.5 trips to the library a year, while making just 5.3 trips to the movie theater. In 2019, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) totaled over 1.1 million visitors, defining our Libraries as well-used and well-loved.
Since our Libraries are a cornerstone of our communities, SCLSNJ is continuing to monitor information shared from County, State, and National health organizations about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety of our customers and staff is always our first priority.
Beginning Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31, the Library System will be canceling all programs for adults, teens, families, and children. The Library System will continue to evaluate and communicate future plans as information becomes available.
“While there has been no reported community spread of the coronavirus in Somerset County, we are being cautious on behalf of our customers and staff,” said County Library Administrator Brian Auger. “We want to do our part to help our health care community manage the situation by reducing opportunities for large groups to congregate.”
The Library System will continue to take steps to maintain the health and safety of our customers and staff, by:
- Removing all toys from our youth services departments.
- Ensuring custodial staff focus on cleaning and sanitizing hard surfaces.
- Encouraging staff who are sick to stay at home.
At this time, all 10 branches will maintain standard operating hours. Important to note, these are temporary changes for the time during which there is potential risk of community transmission of COVID-19. The Library System appreciates the support of our community members during this time.
In order to continue to provide superior library services to customers who chose to remain at home, there are many resources that are available digitally:
- Read anywhere by exploring Overdrive e-books and e-audiobooks.
- Watch video and be creative with Creativebug.
- Flip through your favorite magazines with Flipster digital magazines.
- Learn a new language with Mango Languages.
- Lose yourself in a romance book with RomanceBookCloud.
- Exercise your brain with BrainHQ.
- Learn a new skill with Lynda.com.
- Make your dream a reality and work on your new business plan with Gale Small Business Builder.
- Travel to a new place, while being safe in your home, with National Geographic.
- And, so much more!
“We are investing additional funds immediately to purchase more e-book and e-audio materials,” said Director of Operations Lynn Hoffman. “If you haven’t tried our e-books before, our expert staff can walk you through the process so that you can explore from the comfort of home. Call (908) 458.8400 to be connected with your favorite branch.”
Any questions or concerns about these temporary changes should be directed to Auger via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (908) 458.8401.