Message From the Director: Helping Our Community, Helping Ourselves

Livingston Library Community,

Two weeks ago, I had hoped that in this newsletter I would be welcoming everyone back into the library.  However our situation remains in flux and the library will remain closed indefinitely.  Library closures are now covered by Executive Order (Mandatory Facility Closures No. 2020-3) And must remain closed to the public for as long as Executive Order No. 104 (2020) remains in effect.

While this is a difficult time for all of us, remaining closed is necessary to follow social distancing best practices and keep our community and workforce safe.  We will reopen on the guidance of state and local officials who have the most information about protecting the public health and safety.  Please note, materials will not be due until sometime after the library is able to reopen.  We encourage everyone to stay at home, so book drops remain closed.  Please keep all materials until we reopen.

At the library we are always trying our best to be helpers and support our community.  I know many of you are also looking for ways to give back during this time.  So we have developed a list of ways that you can give back into the community while staying safe.

The Red Cross is urgently looking for blood donations.  You can find out how you can donate via the American Red Cross.  Livingston will also be hosting two community blood and platelet drives in partnership with Saint Barnabas Medical Center at the Livingston Community Center on Friday, April 3, from 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM and Tuesday, April 7, from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM.  Social distancing and additional disinfecting guidelines are in place at all blood drives.

Our health care workers are also in dire need of face masks.  To learn how you can both donate and make face masks, check out this tutorial created by Deaconess.

Another way to help is by giving food and monetary donations to local organizations such as Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN), who “support township residents through unexpected hardships.”  Other local Essex County organizations include Meeting Essential Needs With Dignity (MEND NJ) and Jersey Cares. MEND NJ supports over 20 food pantries across the county,  and Jersey Cares is an organization that partners with other local nonprofits to create and implement volunteer projects based on current needs.  Because the current health crisis and needs of the community are rapidly changing, it is asked that those wishing to help visit the website of the specific organization before donations are made.  For more ways on how you can give back to your community, this article from NJ.com provides a county breakdown of organizations that need your help!

Your mental health and wellbeing is also important during this time.  The CDC offers resources for managing stress and coping with the uncertainty.  The Livingston Public School system also has a web page with information about social and emotional support and resources to help reduce stress and keep mentally healthy during times of crisis.

Stay in touch.  We are all in this together!

Be well and stay safe,
Amy 

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