Public libraries are known to be a gathering place for all ages and all walks of life. Whether it is to sit and read the newest novel, to partake in a coveted arts-and-crafts project for the kids or the chance to participate in an adult book discussion.
But not now.
Due to the pandemic libraries along with many municipal offices are closed.
But there is now a silver lining amid these trying times. The Neptune Township Public Library recently launched its curbside pickup services, much to the delight of area residents and library patrons.
“We went from seeing residents multiple times a week to only having contact over the phone or through social media,” Library Director John Bonney. said. “We feel sad not interacting with those members who have become our friends over the years. Through our various services, programs, and titles we hope to offer a slight reprieve from their ‘new normal’. Anyone can get lost in a beautiful book or story.”
Bonney said that the curbside pickup service is a “safe, contactless service” available for all Neptune Township Public Library cardholders.
“Call ahead and let us know which items you would like us to hold for you,” he said. “You just select a pickup time, call us when you are in the parking lot and we will deliver everything with no contact to the trunk of your car. All materials are available for curbside except DVD rentals.”
Bonney added that the library’s members using curbside service have been very satisfied with the “no contact experience.”
“Our entire library team, especially program director Amanda Franco, has done an incredible job in developing innovative ways to engage our residents via social media in virtual programming,” he said.
Some of the library’s virtual programs include Rhyme Time (age 6 to 24 months); Crafts (all ages and sometimes themed with all materials provided for craft pickup); book clubs (Tween, Teen and Adult); Virtual Tours – Library’s Archive; Virtual Learning such as in the month of May ‘Learn How to Play Chess’; and Virtual Travel Hunts. The virtual event calendar can be found on their website www.neptunepubliclibrary.org
“Additional information can be found on our website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and through Neptune Township emails to residents. Amanda Franco and Children’s Librarian Cheryl Otten are already planning our new format to an exciting Summer Reading program for 2020. There will be more details coming shortly,” he said.
The library staff can be reached Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for information. Members can place holds on most items excluding movies. At this time, Bonney said he is unsure when the library will reopen its doors to the public.
“We take pride in meeting the needs of our community. Our library team is accustomed to adapting to challenges,” he said.
For additional information about the Neptune Township Public Library contact them at 732-775-8241 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org