Main Since the Pandemic

…or view PDF

Joined Main

Hunterdon County
Joined Main

Bylaw Changes
Passed by Membership

cloudLibrary Minimums
Implemented for
Non-PPU Content

Interim Interlibrary
Delivery Service
in Q3 of 2020

Mobile App

(Libraries to Business)


Project Magellan


Module and Training

Celebrity &
Elected Officials

Online Storytime Project

Outdoor Wi-Fi
Appliance Options

Library Vitals Cheat Sheet

Membership & Governance

Bernardsville and Hunterdon County Libraries Join Main

On January 11, 2021, Main officially welcomed two new libraries to the membership by bringing online Bernardsville Public Library and Hunterdon County Library System.

“Main is thrilled to welcome Hunterdon County Library into its growing ranks. By working closely together, all users at Main member libraries benefit greatly,” said Phillip Berg, Executive Director of Main. “Libraries have acted as shared services pioneers in New Jersey for many decades now. This move exemplifies the continuation of that tradition.”

Bernardsville Public Library is equally delighted about joining the partnership. “Joining Main is an exciting and economical way to increase service levels to our patrons, said Alexandria Arnold, Director of the library. “With infinitely more titles to choose from, online access to nearly five million items across the 38 member libraries, and the ability to pick up and return materials from their home library in Bernardsville, cardholders will enjoy a more enriched overall library experience.”

Bylaw Changes

Passed by Membership

Several bylaw changes were passed by Main membership, including:

  • Defining emergency board powers
  • Requiring each library director to attend at least one membership meeting per year
  • Outlining how emergency board or member meetings can be called

The changes that will take effect in 2022 include:

  • New board structure and balance
  • Expanding categories of member libraries from three to five
  • Codifying term limits
  • Revised committee/interest group structure

cloudLibrary Minimums

Private Cloud Purchasing Minimums for Non-PPU Content

Main has implemented a policy that requires each member library to make at least minimum purchases in their respective “private collection” of the shared service. This is due to the per unit costliness, high patron demand, and comparatively low supply of one‐copy‐one‐use (OCOU) eBooks and eAudiobooks. We believe this policy ensures all patrons have equitable access to these materials.

Main Adds Interim Interlibrary Delivery Service

With the statewide delivery system inoperable until late October, Main Libraries joined together to swap materials in parking lots over the summer of 2020 and then ran delivery routes in September through mid-October.

Technology & Web Development

Mobile App Launched

Main launched a mobile app for patrons in November of 2020. The app offers an anytime, anywhere, everywhere library experience from a user’s Apple iOS or Android device. Library staffs can customize the look and feel of the app to best serve their communities, and patrons have access to the shared catalog, account and hold management tools, links to digital content, a digital library card, and so much more. Libraries are also free to enable exciting bonus features like self-checkout, self-check-in, and curbside pickup modules. Mobile apps are here to stay, and new functionality is constantly being added.

Libraries to Business

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Libraries to Business, or L2B, launched its website to serve as a clearinghouse of online events and resources for the small business community. L2B connects New Jersey job seekers, businesses, and nonprofits with organizations and experts who are actively engaging in business and workforce development webinars. You can view resources and events here.

Limited Library Services Resource Published

As libraries continue to open their buildings to the public, some are limiting their days or hours of service. Main’s website now offers a current listing for all its library members.

Outdoor Wi-fi

Appliance Options Offer Better Coverage

Main now offers consultation for improving members’ wireless cover-age outside the building. Contact Main to learn more!

New Library Vitals Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet for library staff, which brings together the contact information for each library’s major department, is now conveniently located in one place on the staff website.

Project Magellan Launched

To Better Assist Patrons Seeking Specific In-Person Services

Main has created a system to better assist patrons seeking specific in-person services.

Local Celebrities, Elected Officials Participate in Online Storytime Project

To connect to the community during socially restricted times, Main called upon local celebrities and elected officials to join an online story time project. Guests included Aura Dunn, New Jersey Assemblywoman; Dr. Tony Iacono, County College of Morris President; Deborah Smith, Morris County Freeholder Director; and more! Tune in to some of these story times on the Main YouTube channel.

ILS & Digital Content

Additional Digital Content Temporarily Available in Pandemic Relief Efforts

In spring of 2020, Main embarked on a campaign to coordinate with library vendors to provide additional P-12 educational eContent through the rest of the 2019-20 school year free of charge to libraries, school districts, and families. The results of the endeavor yielded complete and open access to products including but not limited to:

  • Facts on File
  • Access Video on Demand
  • TumbleMath
  • Teen Book Cloud
  • The Mailbox

Auto-Renewal in Place

As of January 4, 2021, all Main library patrons have access to auto-renewal service. This means when you check out an item, it will automatically be renewed if eligible. Patrons receive a three-day courtesy email notice to inform them of items that are eligible and ineligible for automatic renewal. The notice will also indicate the updated due dates of the renewed items. For more information on what this means for you and your patrons, visit our website.

Gale Small Business Builder

Plan Builder is a step-by-step online planning tool for starting, managing, and optimizing a business or nonprofit. After consistently low usage, Main opted not to renew this online business tool for 2021.

Polaris Outreach Module and Training

Main installed Polaris Outreach to help participating libraries stream-line staff workflows, reduce system overhead, and improve patron services. We offered training opportunities to member libraries to use the tool, which had to be transitioned to virtual sessions due to the pandemic.

RBDigital Ends, PressReader Picked Up

RBdigital Ends, PressReader Picked Up
After RBdigital ceased its operations, Main subscribed to PressReader. It offers patrons access to thousands of digital magazines and newspapers. To learn more about PressReader’s services, visit their website.

Axis 360

NJ State Library eBook Collection Temporarily Accessible

Thanks to the CARES Act, the New Jersey State Library’s Axis360 eBook platform became temporarily accessible to all public libraries in the state of New Jersey. Axis360 NJ is a digital resource collection and serves all libraries in New Jersey as an important expansion of materials available for remote access.


Now Data Axle Reference Solutions

In late 2020, ReferenceUSA changed its name to Data Axle Reference Solutions. The resource still contains all the functionality and features with additions such as improved navigation of this digital resource. Data Axle Reference Solutions is a powerful digital resource for small business owners, marketing professionals, researchers, job seekers, and students.

Continuing Education & Marketing

“Advocating for Libraries in the COVID-19 Era” Event

With Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

Library advocacy expert Rebekkah Smith Aldrich paid Main a pro bono visit on June 4, 2020, to discuss libraries’ incredibly important role in the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, which had not quite yet begun to take place. Whether it is helping to combat social isolation, supporting the health and well-being of residents, or helping small businesses and job seekers navigate the new economic norms, libraries are an essential part of a community’s collective response.

Central Canva

Marketing Materials Digital Repository

Main created a central space to share digital content between Main, Paradigm Marketing and Design, and others. You can request access via this link.

Scott Nafie

Scott Nafie won the 2020 NJLA Rising Star Award.

New Marketing Flyers and Brochures Created

Main’s Public Relations Committee works with the Main central office to help coordinate marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts with the public. This includes supplying input on the design and content of the public‐facing website. Some of the recent flyers and brochures can be viewed here.

Monthly Marketing Best Practices Webinars

With the scheduling and resource help of L2B, Main sponsored several webinars on marketing best practices during the pandemic. These virtual events were free to patrons who wished to learn.

Covid-19 Coordinated Response for Schools

Main commenced a marketing campaign to explain to local school districts the many resources their students and educators have via the public library.

Annual Return on Investment Flyers

Distributed for First Time

In 2020, ROI flyers were distributed for the very first time. FY19 ROI calculations were published to library directors and boards of trustees as a way to show the strong value that Main brings to each individual library member.