Reopening Plan

Austin Public Library, Recycled Reads, and Austin History Center are closed to the public during the City’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order. All book drops are closed.

Library resources available to the public include:

Library book drops will reopen and library staff will return to buildings with the conclusion of Austin’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order in accordance with health and safety guidelines.

  • Book drops at all Library locations are open (branches closed for renovation - Yarborough and Pleasant Hill - are not available for book return)
  • Books will be collected and quarantined for 72 hours

The Library will provide curbside service at select locations, beginning with Central, Manchaca, Ruiz, Carver, Windsor Park, University Hills, North Village, Spicewood Springs and Milwood. Locations will be added as health and safety precautions allow.

  • Book drops at all Library locations are open (branches closed for renovation - Yarborough and Pleasant Hill - are not available for book return)
  • Please go to the library’s Curbside Hold Pickup location (Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM)
  • Returned items will be collected and quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours up to a week, due to processing high volumes of returns.
  • Visit the Curbside Hold Pickup Service page for details
  • At this time, APL is not issuing new or replacement Library Cards. Customers needing to renew their Library Card can do so by clicking the Renew Library Card link. Adults who do not already have a Library Card can apply for an eCard here to gain access to the Virtual Library.

How Curbside Service Works from Austin Public Library on Vimeo.

Library locations will open with limited customer access. Health and safety guidelines will determine opening date and access levels.

The Library will resume full-service levels at all locations. Health and safety guidelines will determine opening date and access levels.

Curbside Hold Pickup Service

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Beginning June 8, Austin Public Library will offer Curbside Hold Pickup Service at select library locations as a way to provide safe access to physical materials during these unprecedented times.

Locations: Central, Manchaca, Ruiz, Carver, Windsor Park, University Hills, North Village, Spicewood Springs, Milwood. Locations will be added as health and safety precautions allow.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM

Hold Limit: Up to 7 holds per card can be placed for Curbside Hold Pickup Service.

Please follow these steps to pick up materials at a participating location:

1. Place Holds

  • Log into your account on the Austin Public Library website, search the catalog for items and place a hold on the items you want, or call a curbside location to have holds placed for you.
  • Only curbside locations will be available to select as the pickup library.
  • Wait times for holds are currently longer than usual. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    If you already have an item on hold at a curbside location and you have been notified that it’s ready, skip to #3.

2. Wait for Notification

  • If you have an email address on your account, you will be notified via email when holds are ready.
  • If you do not have an email address on your account, you may call the library where you placed your hold to check on its status.
  • If you want to add an email address to your account, log into the My Settings page.

3a. Pick Up Your Holds – Central

Please have your library card number and phone when you arrive to pick up your holds.

  • After being notified that your holds are ready for pick up, the Library will hold your item(s) for 10 days. Please go to the Central Library (Mon-Fri 10 AM-6 PM) located at 710 W. Cesar Chavez St.
  • Park in the Central Library garage (located on West Ave.). Take the 2nd Street elevator or stairs to the main entrance doors on 2nd Street. There will be signage outside indicating the number to call to alert staff to your arrival.
  • Call the Central Library at 512-974-7404 and tell the staff you are at Central Library to pick up your holds.
  • Staff will ask for your name and Library card number, check out your items to you, and bring them outside the 2nd Street entrance/exit.
  • Staff will place them on a table for pickup.
  • For everyone’s safety, library staff will maintain social distancing.

3b. Pick Up Your Holds – Branches

Please have your library card number and phone when you arrive to pick up your holds.

  • After being notified that your holds are ready for pick up, the Library will hold your item(s) for 10 days.
  • Please go to the library’s Curbside Hold Pickup location (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm).
  • Park, open your trunk, call the posted number and let staff know you have arrived and a description of your vehicle.
  • For everyone’s safety, please remain in your vehicle. Library staff will maintain social distancing.
  • If arriving on foot, call the number posted for further instructions.
  • Staff will ask for your name and library card number, check out your items to you, and bring them outside and place them in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • NOTE: Spicewood Springs will have two available places for pick up – drive-thru or parking lot. If you selected the Spicewood Springs drive-thru as the pickup library, please go to the drive-thru instead of the parking lot.

Returning Items: As of June 1, exterior book drops at all Austin Public Library locations (except Pleasant Hill and Yarborough) will be open. To ensure that returned items are safe to use, all items will be quarantined for 72 hours before they are checked in. Please note that due to the high volume of returns and increased processing times, it can take up to a week from the date of return for items to be checked in. We appreciate your patience.

FAQs

Can I pick up my holds that were ready prior to the closure?

Yes. Beginning June 8, the Library will hold the items that were available for you prior to the closure and that you did not cancel. These items will be held for 10 days for hold pick- up (via the curbside process). You should receive an email letting you know your requested item(s) are available.

The locations currently offering curbside service are: Central, Manchaca, Ruiz, Carver, Windsor Park, University Hills, North Village, Spicewood Springs, and Milwood.

What if I have a hold waiting at a location not offering curbside service?

As more curbside locations open up, customers will be notified of available holds.

Will the other Austin Public Library locations start offering Curbside Hold Pickup Service?

Yes. Curbside Hold Pickup Service will be expanded to other locations as health and safety permit.

Who can use Curbside Hold Pickup Service?

Customers with a valid Austin Public Library Card in good standing can place holds for pick up via the curbside process. Cardholders can place holds themselves online, or by calling a curbside location to have staff place holds for them.

Please note that eCards allow access to Virtual Library resources, but cannot be used to check out or place holds on physical materials.

Will I be fined for items I had checked out during the closure?

No. Fines did not accrue on customer accounts while the Library was closed.

What safeguards are in place with regards to items being reissued?

In order to safeguard the health of patrons and staff, Austin Public Library is quarantining all items for 72 hours upon their return.

Are there any library resources I can use while library locations are closed?

Yes. Cardholders can use the Virtual Library to read, listen, and watch on their computer or mobile device 24/7 when they download or stream eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, movies and music.

Please note that TexShare cardholders are able to check out and place holds on physical materials, but cannot access Virtual Library resources.

I have a question about my account. Who can help me?

If you have any questions about your account please contact Customer Service via email at circ.link@austintexas.gov or call (512) 974-7475.

I need help with research, using eBooks or finding Library items. Who can help me?

Librarians are available via Ask Us or by calling (512) 974-7400.