AVALON LIBRARY & HISTORY CENTER REOPENING PLAN

Avalon Library & History Center Plan for Reopening

Phase 1 – Library and History Center Closed by Executive Order

Effective March 17 through June 14. Available services:

  • Digital Library for eBooks, audio, streaming, news and more (Visit Borrow on the website.)
  • Remote Programs (More information on the website calendar.)
  • Remote Help Tools & Appointments (Email or visit Help on the website for an appointment.)
  • Exterior Wi-Fi at the Library (Our unsecured Wi-Fi is available on the porch and in the parking lot.)

Phase 2 – Library and History Center staff permitted on-site to prepare for resuming services.

June 15 - June 21. During this brief phase, staff will return to the facilities to prepare for new on-site services and address building needs for working during COVID-19.


Phase 3 – Library open for Porch Pick Up.

The Library will enter Phase 3 on Monday, June 22.

Patrons will not be able to enter the Library or History Center during Phase 3.

In addition to the services available in Phase 1, patrons will now have access to:

  • Porch Pick Up for borrowing materials, via scheduled time slots.
  • Returning materials via Library book drops.
  • No-contact History Center donations

Please take note of the following details:

  • Library staff are wearing masks and following recommended hygiene and social distancing practices.
  • Library materials and museum donations will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked in.
  • Accrual and collection of fines and fees has been suspended through August 31, 2020.
  • The Library is not accepting book or item donations at this time.
  • Library by Mail is suspended. We will make an announcement when we resume this service.

When on-site for Porch Pick Up, Wi-Fi, or History Center donations, social distancing and the use of a face mask is required.


Phase 4 – Library and History Center open to the public with capacity restrictions.

Libraries are still closed to the public in the State of NJ. Time frame TBD.

In addition to the services available in Phase 3 (see above), patrons may now also:

  • Enter the Library and History Center in accordance with current capacity guidelines.
  • Briefly browse the library collection or a museum exhibit following traffic flow and social distancing markings.
  • Reserve and use a public library computer for a shortened session (when availability permits).
  • Length of visit will be limited.
  • Individuals under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Public seating and meeting rooms will not be available.
  • Programs will be remote. Visit the web calendar for more details.

Additional phases and services will be shared as more details become available. Thank you for your patience and support during this time.

BORROWING MATERIALS

1.Will you offer contactless pick-up of library materials when it becomes safe to do so?

An annoucement will be made when we are allowed to offer contactless pick-up. We are preparing a solution for borrowing materials called Porch Pick Up. Details can be found here. Sign up for email notifications to receive service updates.

2. How do I search the catalog for items I want to request?

You can search for items directly from the library homepage. Click the "Home" tab in the upper-left corner of this page, then enter your search terms in the text box at the top right-hand side of the screen.

Watch this video for instruction on how to access the catalog, search for items and place holds.

3. Can I request the Library purchase a title?

We are happy to consider purchasing your recommendations! Fill out our Select a Purchase form with the details of the item you would like us to add to our collection.

4. Are you offering Library by Mail at this time?

We are working out details of providing Library by Mail. Please check back for details or sign up for our email notifications to stay informed on this issue and others. 

5. Will I be fined for late items?

The accrual and collection of fines and fees has been suspended through August 31, 2020. Lost items will still be billed.

6. Can I still use your Interlibrary Loan service?

Interlibrary Loan service is provided through the State Library. They have halted the service until further notice, possibly resuming at some point after Labor Day, date to be determined. 

COVID-19 PROTOCOL

1. What changes have the Library and History Center made in response to COVID-19?

  • Limiting the amount of staff in the building at the same time
  • Staff workstations have been properly distanced
  • Sanitizing communal surface areas on a regular schedule
  • Wearing gloves and masks, frequent hand-washing and making hand-sanitizer available
  • Preparing to offer contactless pickup of library items via Porch Pickup service at a date TBD
  • Offering remote programs in lieu of live programs where many people gather
  • Promoting use of our Digital Library for electronic books, audiobooks, movies, newspapers and magazines
  • Quarantining all returned materials for 72 hours
  • Quarantining all History Center donations for 72 hours

2. How is the Library making decisions about when to open and what types of services to offer?

We are following NJ-mandated rules and recommendations for phased opening. These inform our decisions about how to manage in-person services, such as material checkout, program offerings and one-on-one patron assistance.
 

3. What is the best way to stay updated on changes in library service?

Subscribe to our email newsletter or check our homepage and social media pages frequently for messages.

4. Where can I get current information about COVID-19?

o    CMC Health Department: https://capemaycountynj.gov/226/Health-Department 
o    NJ Department of Health: https://www.nj.gov/health/ 
o    CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 
 

DIGITAL LIBRARY

1. Do you have ebooks and audiobooks available to borrow?

We offer ebooks and audiobooks on two platforms: Overdrive with an app named Libby, and Hoopla Digital.
View the video tutorials linked below to learn the basics:
 

2. Do you offer streaming movies?

We offer two platforms for streaming video: Hoopla Digital has films and TV episodes. Kanopy has independent films, foreign films and documentaries. 
Watch the video tutorials below to learn more:
 

3. Do you offer streaming music?

We offer streaming music through Hoopla Digital. View the Getting Started with Hoopla video tutorial to get started.

4. Do you offer access to online newspapers and magazines?

We offer PressReader for browsers and via the app. PressReader has hundreds of US newspapers, such as The Philadelphia Inquirer, and magazine titles and thousands of international titles.

DONATIONS

Are you accepting item donations?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept items for donation at this time. 

HELP AND REMOTE APPOINTMENTS

I have a question not covered here. How do I get help?

Please fill out our help form in order for us to help answer your question or to set up and appointment with one of our staff. You can also click on the orange chat button in the lower-right side of any page on our website to get help during business hours.

LIBRARY CARDS

1. Can I still get a library card if I can't come into the building?

Online cards are available for Avalon, NJ property owners and Cape May County, NJ residents who are 18 years of age or older. 
     1. Fill out this form to have a library card created for you or to retrieve your existing library card number.
     2. We will email you with a library barcode within 24 hours of your request. 
     NOTE: You will be required to prove identity and address the first time you come to the library to check out physical materials when we are open to the public. 

2. I don't have my library card number. How can I get it?

The fastest way to retrieve your existing library card number is to fill out this form and we will email your card number within 1-2 business days.

3. My library card appears to have expired. How can I renew?

Library cards expire every two years. This allows us to review your information with you to be sure that what we have is up-to-date. You can renew your card by filling out this form or calling us at 609-967-7155,

PROGRAMS & EVENTS

1. Are programs and events still scheduled?

In order to proceed in a manner that is safe for our patrons, staff and instructors, we have cancelled upcoming in-person programs until we receive further guidance from the State of NJ and the NJ State Library.

We are offering many remote programs, however, and invite you to join us online. Check out our calendar of events for more information on programs and how to register. 

2. How do I use Zoom to attend Library programs?

Please view our video instructions for how to attend a Zoom program. If you have questions, please reach out to our programming department at programs@avalonfreelibrary.org.

WI-FI & TECH HELP

1. Can I still access Library Wi-Fi?

The Library's unsecured public Wi-Fi is available 24/7 from the parking lot and from the exterior front porch, optimized for proper social distancing.

2. Can you help me with my computer or device?

We offer appointments with staff for various technology help topics. Fill out this form describing your issue and we will reach out to you to schedule a time with an available staff expert. 

3. Can I scan, fax, email or make copies?

Not at this time but we are hoping to offer a solution soon. To be kept informated of updates in library services, please sign up for our email notifications