A Message from the NJ State Librarian Regarding Library Closures

We want to provide a reminder to the New Jersey library community of Governor Murphy’s recent clear messages regarding his Executive Order(s) being ORDERS, not merely suggestions. We understand that the directives from state government have been coming in at a rapid pace.  We hope that the following information can assist in identifying some of the directives most pertinent to the work of our public libraries.

On March 21st Governor Murphy signed Executive Order (EO) 107.  This EO has several provisions that we thought important to point out as they either directly or indirectly apply to New Jersey libraries.

Paragraph 9(h) of the EO orders “All municipal, county, and State public libraries” to close to the public.

Paragraph 10 of the EO orders “All businesses or non-profits in the State, whether closed or open to the public, must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements.  For purposes of this order, “telework” means the practice of working from home or alternative locations closer to home through the use of technology that equips the individual to access necessary materials.”

Paragraph 11 of the EO orders “To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue. Examples of employees who need to be physically present at their work site in order to perform their duties include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and other first responders, cashiers or store clerks, construction workers, utility workers, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, information technology maintenance workers, janitorial and custodial staff, and certain administrative staff.”

All staff not working in positions listed in Paragraph 11 above are to be given work that they can do at home if practicable.  Staff that must visit the library building and are in the listed positions must practice social distancing which the CDC defines as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

If you know of an organization which is violating Executive Order 107 please report it at https://covid19.nj.gov/violation.

About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.