Although most people might associate libraries with just books, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) offers much more. Discover the top five services that you may not know your Library offers including:
- Sunday hours
- Genealogy services
- Interlibrary loan service and suggest an item
- Museum passes
“Not only should libraries have what people are looking for, they should be open and available when people want to use them,” said Brian K. Auger, county library administrator. “We’re pleased to have our three largest library branches open Sunday afternoons year-round for the convenience of our many customers who are unable to visit weekdays. Opening Sundays also takes a little pressure off Saturdays. And what parent hasn’t been cornered by a child who has an assignment ‘due tomorrow’?”
In order to better serve the community’s need, SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater, Hillsborough, and Warren Twp. branches are open on Sundays year-round from 1-5 p.m. The extended hours offer Library customers more time to interact and form meaningful connections with both their neighbors and Library staff through community gathering spaces, exploration through SCLSNJ’s research resources and collections, and more.
For those interested in exploring their family heritage and history, look no further than SCLSNJ’s genealogy services.
“Our genealogy services are an extension of reference services,” said Ken Kaufman, SCLSNJ adult services librarian. They are specialized questions that require specialized knowledge to answer properly. Many times it’s just an obituary request from one of our newspapers (sometimes only requiring database searching, but many times needing a more involved search of issues on microfilm from the 1980s back into the 1800s). We also can answer more varied questions from the genealogy databases of Ancestry Library, Heritage Quest, Historical New York Times, or America’s Obituaries. Our local history book collection is another important source for inquiries of more prominent or early settler ancestors.”
Contact your local branch for additional information about reference and genealogy services by visiting the adult reference desk at your home branch or by calling 908.458.8400 to schedule your free one-on-one appointment with an SCLSNJ librarian.
The Library System also offers customers access to the online learning site, Lynda.com, both in-branch and within your own home. The online resource offers a user-friendly interface that includes over 6,000 courses and video tutorials from industry experts in creative, technology, and business fields. Lynda.com’s wealth of courses range from beginner to advanced levels with new topics and tutorials added regularly. Explore Lynda.com today.
Every year, SCLSNJ adds over 80,000 items to the already robust collection of almost 1 million items. Even with such a large collection, it is still possible that an item may not be found on our shelves. Don’t fret, SCLSNJ offers services that can help you obtain exactly what you need. The Library offers a suggest an item service, which allows Library customers to request an item for the Library to add to the collection.
If the requested item is unavailable, or goes beyond what the Library would typically purchase, SCLSNJ participates in an interlibrary loan service. The interlibrary loan service allows SCLSNJ to request items from participating libraries across the 48 contiguous United States. You can request an item through SCLSNJ’s suggest an item service by logging onto SCLSNJ.org. This service is limited to 50 requests per year, per customer.
Library customers can also delve deeper into culture by checking out SCLSNJ’s Museum Pass Program. The program offers access to 18 different locations, including: Grounds for Sculpture, New-York Historical Society, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and most recently, New Jersey’s State Parks. For more information or to reserve your museum pass, visit: sclsnj.org/museumpass.
“Your County Library System is a truly valuable resource for the community,” said Carolann DeMatos, director of marketing and public relations. “If you and your spouse decide to visit the Guggenheim for the day and use the Library’s pass rather than purchase a ticket at the door, well, that is a $50 savings. And, then if you decide to borrow ‘Fantastics Beasts and Where to Find Them’ on blu-ray in preparation for seeing ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,’ that’s a $15 savings. Then, schedule an hour with a librarian to explore Ancestry.com and start building your family tree, for a savings of $99 – plus you get all that special one-on-one expert support. The savings add up fast. Stop in today and explore all the System has to offer. You will be impressed.”
For more information about these services and more, visit SCLSNJ.org.