Curbside Services and Computer Appointments
December 03, 2020 | By Baltimore County Public Library
While library branches are not open for pubic browsing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 18 of our branch locations do offer curbside pickup for library materials and printing, as well as computer appointments (the Reisterstown Branch is closed for renovation).
Curbside pickup hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. through 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cardholders can either drive or utilize our walk-up service. During inclement weather with conditions deemed dangerous for staff and customers (thunderstorms, torrential downpours, tornado warnings, snow/ice storms, etc.) curbside operations may be temporarily discontinued. For Arbutus and Perry Hall customers who choose to drive, our drive-through window will be open for your convenience.
Note: Activity at the Pikesville, Catonsville and Cockeysville branches is extremely high, which sometimes leads to longer wait times. To minimize a possible longer wait time, customers may want to place holds and pickup at neighboring branches (full information under Accessing Library Materials section.)
Computer appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the last appointment at 2 p.m. All appointments will be one hour in length and customers can make one appointment per day. No other inside services will be provided at this time. The library’s collection cannot be accessed or browsed at this time and all library materials are to be checked out via curbside pickup.
Color or black-and-white documents/files can be sent to the library from any personal computer or device for curbside pickup. Twenty pages (either 20 single-sided or 10 double-sided) may be printed for no fee each day and held at the branch of the customers’ choice for pickup for up to seven days.
Printing requests can be made via the Curbside Printing Request form, where customers can attach a document to be printed or request printouts from websites such as government forms, applications, articles, etc.
Library staff will contact the customer via phone or email when the printouts are ready for pickup, and documents can be picked up during regular curbside service hours. Staff will bring the requested documents to the customer at their curbside location in a sealed envelope.
Accessing Library Materials
To access materials while branches are closed:
- Place items on hold via bcpl.info or call your favorite branch and leave a voicemail with your request, name and library card number.
- Customers are notified by text, email or phone when items are available for pickup. This notification is determined by your preferences in your account. You then have seven days to pick up. After this time, your materials are put back in the collection with no fees incurred.
For the safety and protection of our staff and you, we urge customers to wear masks while in their vehicle.
- Park in a designated numbered spot in the branch parking lot.
- Call the branch number provided on the posted sign.
- Provide your parking spot number as well as the make, model and color of your car.
- Have your library card information ready for verification.
- Release your trunk or hatch, or open your back window.
- Items and a check out receipt will be delivered directly to your car by staff wearing masks and gloves.
- Close your trunk or window.
To protect the health and safety of our staff, we cannot provide building access to members of the public for any reason, including using bathroom facilities. Thank you for your understanding.
- Look for the designated walk-up area and remember to follow social distancing guidelines.
- Call the branch number provided on the posted sign.
- Wear a mask and have and library card information ready for verification.
- Items and a checkout receipt will be delivered and placed on the table by staff wearing masks and gloves.
Digital materials including e-books and audiobooks, e-magazines, streaming movies and more are available through our website 24-7. If you are unsure how to access these materials or have questions, chat with a librarian online, via text or phone.
More Contactless Services and Resources
While doors are not open at this time for public browsing, the library offers several contactless services and resources that can be accessed at this time, including but not limited to:
- Curbside pickup and printing
- Free Wi-Fi in all branch parking lots
- Grab-and-go meals for children
- Ask a Librarian
- Student resources
- On-demand 3-D printing
- Downloadable e-books
- Audiobooks and e-magazines
- Streaming movies with Kanopy and AcornTV
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t have a cell phone. How do I arrange pick up?
To give staff ample time to have your materials ready, call the branch before leaving home to make an appointment based on your arrival time.
Can I clean my library materials upon receipt or before returning?
Materials will be quarantined for 48 hours before they are returned to our shelves. Only sanitizing wipes can be used on plastic covers of books and DVD and CD cases. Please do not do any of the following:
- Clean materials with disinfectants as spray can damage covers and pages.
- Put any materials in the microwave oven as they could catch fire from anti-theft tags located on all items.
- Expose materials to UV light.
- Place materials in oven.
- Leave materials in car with extreme heat.
Can staff take my returns?
Returns must be made in book drops located on the exterior of branches. If the item is too large for the book drop, each branch has a bin outside of the branch only during curbside hours.
Are there fees on my returned materials?
All fees are suspended indefinitely. Fees incurred before March 16 are still due and at this time and can only be paid through our website.
Why are my returned materials still showing on my account?
All returned materials will be quarantined for 48 hours before being checked in and processed. There are no fees being incurred. Please give a few extra days for your account to clear.
Can I use my e-card to borrow materials?
Yes, if you registered for an e-card during quarantine, you are able to borrow physical materials at this time until branches reopen and we are able to issue cards.
Can I donate books?
We are not accepting book donations. Better World Books has drop boxes located in the following branch parking lots with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Library:
- North Point
- Perry Hall
- Sollers Point
When will the Library reopen?
The Library is working closely with health officials and the County Government to determine when we are able to reopen with new parameters and guidelines. Updates will continue to be available on our website. There is no reopening date set at this time.