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Hunterdon Freeholder Van Doren asks attorney general to reverse hold on library pick-up programs


The New Jersey Attorney General’s decision to put a hold on libraries providing a “no contact materials pick up program” should immediately be reversed, because it is a critical service for our residents who have been isolated in their homes, Hunterdon County Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren wrote in a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy.

“Library buildings are closed to the public by executive order, but the public should not be cut off from books and other materials. The Hunterdon County Library Director and staff have devised a creative way to provide these services while maintaining adherence to social distancing rules,” the letter reads.

“The service is completely no-contact, with community members having separate appointments to pick up items off a table, with no interaction with any staff members or other members of the public and it is overwhelmingly successful. We are seeing over 300 residents use the service per week.”

On May 27, the Director of Library Law for the New Jersey State Library, wrote to libraries around the state advising that the Office of the Attorney General indicates libraries remain closed under EO107(9)(h), which includes no curbside pickup.

“This interpretation by the Attorney General is unfortunate and disappointing for our community and our library staff,” Van Doren wrote to the Governor.

“Since the library’s no-contact pickup program, performed while ensuring health protections for staff and the public, presents even less risk than the curbside pickup process for non-essential businesses, the Freeholder Board requests that you have the determination by the Attorney General re-considered.”

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