Limited Hours of Operation
Beginning Monday, October 5th, 2020, we will open our doors with limited hours and services at our branches with a hybrid of contactless pick-up service, as well as open public hours.
Open Public Hours
- Monday and Friday: 10 am to 4:30 pm
- Wednesday: 1 pm to 7 pm
- Saturday: 2 pm to 4:30 pm
Contactless Pick-Up Service Hours
- Tuesday, Thursday: 10 am to 4:30 pm
- Saturday: 10 am to 12:30 pm
We will revisit these hours as we move throughout the fall and in consideration of the weather. The Hollowbrook Branch, located in the Hollowbrook Community Center will not be open to the public at this time, but will be providing contactless delivery of library materials placed on hold beginning September 29, 2020.
Persons Aged 65+ and Immunocompromised Individuals
In accordance with Executive Order No. 157, the library will set aside one hour, two mornings per week to encourage those patrons who are immunocompromised and aged 65 or older to visit the library. That will be: Monday and Friday from 10 am until 11 am.
What to Expect
Masks and Social Distancing
All library patrons over the age of 2 are required to wear face masks that cover both the nose and mouth, as well as adhere to social distancing guidelines. You will notice that some PCs have been placed out of use, as well as furniture removed or moved. This was done to promote and accommodate social distancing.
In recognition of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations, Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Orders regarding the public health crisis created by the COVID – 19 virus, and to aid Mercer County’s continuing effort to fight the spread of the COVID – 19 virus and protect Mercer County employees and visitors, visitors over the age of 2 must wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth both inside a County facility and outside, when receiving library materials.
Cleaning of Frequently Touched Surfaces
Our hours of operation allow for the more thorough cleaning of our branches before and after in-person services. Staff will clean frequently touched surfaces, to include, but not limited to public PC keyboards and mice, tables, handles and switches. Please use the hand sanitizer provided for patrons upon entry and remember to wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer throughout your stay.
We will be following the Governor’s guidelines for places where people gather (outlined in Executive Order No. 173 and No. 183) and limit the occupancy of our branch libraries to 25 persons or 25% of the building occupancy, whichever is less.
- “WHEREAS, the restrictions on indoor gatherings that remain in place may be more stringent than the restrictions that are in place for indoor retail settings, because in such retail settings individuals neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods, which are factors that have been linked to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission;” (EO No. 173, page 3).
Signs that limit occupancy will be posted on the outside doors of each branch; please understand that you may not be able to enter the buildings until we achieve a limit of 25 persons. For your convenience, we will continue our service of providing contactless pick-up of library materials.
Access to Public Restrooms
Pursuant to the recommendation of the Mercer County Health Officer, the use of public restrooms, single and multi-stall restrooms will be limited to:
- 1 person
- 1 family unit
- 1 person with assistant
In the event these limitations cannot be enforced, the restrooms will be closed for use.
Please continue to return library materials in our book and AV drops. Returned materials will not yet be accepted inside our branches. All returned materials will be quarantined for 72 hours, after which it will be added back into our collections. Overdue fines will not accrue until November 5th, 2020.
Access to Public Computers
We will provide access to public PCs by appointment only. Due to the limited number of PCs available in order to accommodate social distancing compliance, computer use will be limited to one-hour per day. Extensions on PC time limits will not be possible at this time.
Reference Desk Telephone Numbers
We encourage you to take advantage of our free WiFi access, which is available in and outside of our buildings from 7 am until 9 pm.
Brief, Purposeful Browsing Encouraged
We ask that you be mindful of others wishing to use the library and limit your time spent in the facilities due to the 25 person / 25% limited capacity. We recommend visits of less than one hour.
You will notice that most patron tables and chairs have been removed to accommodate social distancing requirements. Tables can accommodate only one person or members of the same family, at a time. The library cannot accommodate groups of persons sitting together, which includes tutoring sessions.
Programs, Services, and More
Community Rooms, Public Spaces and In-Branch Programming
At this time our quiet study rooms and meeting rooms will be closed. Branches cannot accept art or exhibit display requests. All in-person programs and events will be suspended. Our public spaces have been redesigned to accommodate social distancing compliance.
Virtual and Outdoor Programming
We will continue to offer virtual programming through a combination of prerecorded videos, online programs and contests, live virtual events, and some limited outdoor events at our branches. Check out what we have planned on our online event calendar.
Public Notary Services
Public notary services will not be available at this time.
New Magazines & Daily Newspapers
New magazines and daily newspapers will not be available at this time. The library will shelve new magazines in the general periodical collection, which will continue to be available for check-out. See our available print and microfilm periodicals. You can browse many of our magazines online through Flipster!
Our ILL Department is accepting ILL requests for physical materials from our patrons as well as ILL article requests. We are also lending MCLS items to other libraries. Please go to our Interlibrary Loan Form for more information.
Virtual Reference Desk
We have added an online chat service. Through MCL's Virtual Reference Desk, you will be able to get your questions answered in real time via chat. Go to our Virtual Reference Desk Page for more information.