Welcome back to the Library! We are so happy to be able to lend physical items to you again. Our electronic resources have been invaluable during our collective quarantine and our statistics show it, but we know you are interested in our tangible items, too.
You can now return the materials you have had since March (if not earlier) and borrow new books, movies, Playaways, tools, art, and more. All six branches of HCLS are open for contactless pickup, Mon-Sat*, 10 am – 6 pm.
More than 300,000 items were borrowed before HCLS closed, and customers have placed requests for more than 52,000 items during the closure. All items retrieved from book drops – and returned during contactless pickup – will be quarantined for 72 hours. HCLS staff returned to branches more than a week ago, preparing to begin this new service.
HCLS President & CEO Tonya Aikens comments, “The health, safety, and well-being of our staff and customers remains top priority. Guidance from health officials and the CDC continues to inform our plans. Decisions about how we progress to future phases will depend on the most current health and safety guidelines.”
County Executive Calvin Ball said, “The HCLS team has been instrumental in connecting residents with online resources throughout this pandemic, and we’re thrilled they have found a safe way to provide more access to our residents with contactless pickup.”
So, how does it work? The basics are below, but all the details and FAQs are available here.
1. Place items on hold.
Search the Library’s catalog for titles of interest. To request items from the art collection, please call Central Branch at 410.313.7800, or the DIY collection, please call Elkridge Branch at 410.313.5077.
Use your HCLS-registered library card or A+ student account (for HCPSS students) and PIN to log in and place requests, selecting your preferred pickup location.
You may also make requests by phone by calling your HCLS branch during business hours (10 am – 6 pm, Monday – Saturday).
2. Wait for notification, then reserve a pickup day and time.
You will receive a notice when your holds are available.
Then, fill out the Contactless Holds Pickup Request form online or call your pickup branch to make an appointment.
3. At the scheduled date and time, pick up your holds at the designated HCLS location.
Prior to your appointment, HCLS staff will locate your items, check them out to your account, and bag them. The bag will be labeled with your name and placed on a table in the lobby of the pickup branch.
When you arrive, maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from others. Face coverings are required.
If you notice another customer in the lobby, please remain outside until the previous customer has departed.
Grab your bag and go – items have already been checked out to you. Your receipt will be in the bag.
We have missed you and are so pleased to be offer this service. We can’t wait to see you in person again soon!
*HCLS is closed on July 4, as well as five Fridays for furlough: July 3, 17, 31, and August 14 & 28.