Avalon Library & History Center Announce Reopening Guidelines

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COURT HOUSE - Local libraries are still using curbside pickup for patrons, despite being open in a limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

As of July 2, indoor portions of libraries were allowed to reopen, at 25% capacity, while following appropriate mitigation requirements (https://bit.ly/3hFw4VT).  

Libraries offering curbside pickup must follow appropriate mitigation requirements detailed in Administrative Order 2020-15 (https://bit.ly/3mBRdDM). Libraries reopening indoor spaces must institute mitigation requirements in Executive Order No. 157 (https://bit.ly/3iEsHj8). 

Across the Cape May County library system, the libraries are still doing curbside pickup at all eight locations, but have expanded services to include computer, fax, and copier use by appointment only. 

Ocean City Free Public Library opened to the public July 7 but continues to offer curbside pickup services, as well. 

Avalon Free Public Library reopened July 16 but is still limiting capacity in the facility and offering curbside pickup for all patrons who aren’t ready to come inside. 

All libraries are continuing with virtual programming. 

“The library plans to move to more broadly reopening our doors, at 25% limited capacity, in a few weeks,” said Andrea Orsini, county library director. “At that point, patrons would be limited to 30 minutes of walk-through service. Masks and temperature checks will be required.” 

Information regarding the county’s libraries during the pandemic can be found on its website (https://cmclibrary.org/). 

Ocean City Free Public Library Director Karen Mahar said that while numbers for the curbside pickup services “dropped off a bit” since the start of the service, people are still taking advantage of it. 

“Things continue to go well, even with our ‘new normal’ policies and procedures,” Mahar said. “The opening went very smoothly, and we were as prepared as we could be in this unprecedented situation.  

"We are constantly reevaluating the situation to see where changes can be made to best service our patrons while keeping staff and community safe and healthy. Our community has also been very patient and cooperative with these new procedures.” 

She credited the “supportive” library’s board of trustees and staff as the reasons for the smooth transition. 

“All of our programming - adult, young adult, and children - will remain virtual through the end of 2020,” she noted. She referred patrons to the library’s website (https://www.oceancitylibrary.org/) and social media for information about upcoming programs and their weekly newsletter. 

At Avalon Free Public Library, all programming is still virtual, according to Director Erin Brown. The facility is open seven days a week.  

Visits are limited to 20 minutes, masks are required to enter, and there is limited occupancy to support social distancing. Access to public computers, scan/fax, and copier services is limited to 15-minute sessions. 

A full calendar of events and information can be found on the library’s website (https://www.avalonfreelibrary.org/). 

To contact Karen Knight, email kknight@cmcherald.com. 

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