Somerset County Library System of New Jersey to pilot delivery services for county residents
According to the Somerset County Library System in New Jersey, “Approximately 16.5 percent of Somerset County’s residents are 65 years of age or older, eight percent of residents have disabilities, and over five percent of Somerset County’s households have no available vehicles. ”
In order to better serve these population groups, the SCLSNJ is testing lending systems for library customers who “live in communal residential centers and are in a domestic or other qualified situation”.
SCLSNJ will begin testing the circulation service for individuals who do not have physical access to the library due to a domestic or other qualifying situation. During this trial period, 25 customers will receive library materials through the US Postal Service.
“This pilot initiative is critical as we look at the current public health situation,” said Christopher Korenowsky, director of public services. “SCLSNJ’s offering will only continue to grow if libraries redesign their public offering. Identifying new and innovative ways to connect customers and materials remains an important strategic priority for the library system. “
“These fast-growing populations of Somerset County residents are library customers and taxpayers who have valued and supported services throughout their lives,” said Nicole Pascoe, citizen services manager. “Many encounter transportation, health, and mobility issues that limit their physical access to SCLSNJ offices and services.”
By mid-2021, the lending service is expected to be more widely available to qualified individuals, including those facing health, mobility, and transportation barriers to the physical locations of the library system.
By the end of 2021, the initiative will extend to Somerset County’s residential centers, where SCLSNJ will work with facility staff to coordinate material collection from the nearest library branch. The communal residential centers include facilities for assisted living, group houses and residential complexes for the elderly.
“We look forward to expanding the individual and community borrower services planned for later this year,” said Pascoe. “The rational, safe and sustained resumption of these valuable and important services is a priority for SCLSNJ.”