Updates and News

The Township requires masks inside all Township buildings, including the Library, for vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

New Fine-Free Policy

We are pleased to announce that the Library is no longer charging overdue fines for most items. Removing this barrier to equitable access will allow more people to enjoy our materials for education, enrichment and inspiration. This policy was approved by the Board of Trustees in October of 2021.

Please review the following information, and let us know if you have any further questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Have We Changed the Fine Policy?

Fines can create a barrier to equitable use of the Library, and they have not been shown to be effective in encouraging users to return items. Libraries across the country have joined the movement to eliminate them, and are finding no adverse effects.

Will There Still Be Due Dates?

There will still be a due date for each item that is checked out. Library materials are for the shared use of the whole community, and we expect the return of items on or before this date.

Which Items Will Still Have Fines?

Fines will be charged if the following items are returned after their due date:

  • Books that are in high demand by the community
  • Interlibrary loan items
  • Kits — these currently include Health Literacy Kits, Early Literacy Kits, STEM and STEAM kits
  • Technology items — these currently include Chromebooks, iPads, and WiFi hotspots
  • Our telescope, and all Museum Passes

What Happens If I Have Overdue Items?

Once you have two or more overdue items, you will not be able to borrow any additional items until the overdue materials are returned. Overdue notices will be issued to you seven, fourteen, and twenty-one days after the due date.

What Happens If I Have *Really* Overdue Items?

Once any item is twenty-one days overdue, it will be considered lost and you will be mailed a bill for the unreturned item. The bill will represent the value of the item plus a processing fee. You will not have to pay the bill if you return the item to the Library in good condition.

What About My Existing Fines?

Existing fines will be forgiven, and we encourage anyone with overdue items to return them and clear their account. Fees for lost or damaged items will remain until paid.

What If I Am Having Trouble Returning Items?

If you are experiencing unusual difficulties in returning library materials, or paying fines or fees, please contact the Library Director.


Visiting the Library

Township officials have continued to monitor COVID-19 trends, and currently require the use of masks in all Municipal buildings, including the Library.


  • Appointments are not needed to visit the Library.
  • Contact-free pickup services are still available by request.
  • Our new Smart Bin will automatically check in most Scotch Plains items as they are dropped into the bin.
    • Please be sure that all DVD and CD cases are securely closed; any cases that cannot be closed, or other damaged items, should be brought inside and given directly to library staff.
    • Other items (such as tech devices and Health Literacy Kits) must be brought inside to return.
    • We ask that you continue to return Fanwood items to the Fanwood Memorial Library.
  • Seating is limited at this time. Visits may be limited to one hour if capacity limits are reached.
  • We do not currently have a copy machine or scanner.

Computer Use

The Library currently has five public computers (arranged for social distancing) available for use by Scotch Plains and Fanwood cardholders. Other MURAL cardholders may use the computers once they are registered in our system. Computers are available on a drop-in basis, or you may call 908-322-5007, x204 to reserve a specific time slot.

The following procedures are in effect:

  • Usage is limited to one session of up to 60 minutes per cardholder, per day (even if no others are waiting).
  • To maintain social distancing, librarians may provide assistance from their own computers using remote desktop software.
  • No scanner is available.
  • You must bring your library card (or a copy of the full card number) in order to use a computer.
  • Our standard computer use policies are in effect.


Printing

Black and white color printing is available from our public computers.

You may also use our remote printing service to send a print job, and then visit the Library to release the job from the printer.

For all printing, please note the following:

  • Printing charges are 15 cents for each black and white page, and 40 cents for each color page.
  • The print kiosk accepts $1 and $5 bills. The Library will not make change for larger bills.

Contact-Free Pickup Services

The Library will continue to place items outside for pickup on request.

Please review the following procedures:

  • Requests for materials can be placed online via the library catalog or by phone: call 908-322-5007. 
  • To place a hold online, use your library card number and PIN (the last four digits of the phone number you provided to us.)
  • You will be notified by email or by phone when your items are ready and you can call the library to schedule a pickup day and time. 
  • Your items will be available for pickup on a table near the library’s front entrance.

New: Technology Lending Services

The Library is now lending Chromebooks and mobile hotspots to resident cardholders.


Questions

For questions about our current services, you may call the Library at 908-322-5007, x204, or submit your question through this form.