Returns & Curbside Pickup

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The library is now accepting returns, and offering curbside pickup by appointment.

Read on for details!

Returning Items

In accordance with city policy, you will be required to wear a face mask while returning materials.

Reduced Hours

11 AM – 12 PM each day is reserved for seniors and high-risk or immunocompromised library users. We ask that all respect this accommodation, and return your items after noon if you are not in this population.

Monday – Tuesday: 11 AM – 7 PM
Wednesday – Friday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Saturday – Sunday: CLOSED

Am I required to return my checkouts?

Absolutely not! If you do not feel comfortable returning your materials at this time, we encourage you to keep them for a little while longer. However, you may have items that other library users are waiting for - so if you're able to return them, we will gladly accept them!

How will returning items work?

Please do not use the library’s book drop, or curbside pickup carts. Instead, we will be using our Levenson Meeting Room to collect materials. Simply bring your items to the side door nearest the book drop, and we will direct you from there.

All returned library materials will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours. Only after quarantine will they be checked in – so please do not worry if they still appear in your online account for several days.

In accordance with city policy, you will be required to wear a face mask while returning materials.

Can I grab something new while I’m at the library?

Unfortunately, no. At this time the rest of the library building will remain closed to anyone who has not made an appointment for computer use or individual study space.

Curbside Pickup

The library is now offering curbside pickup by appointment only. Here’s how it works:

  1. You will place holds as before, by logging in to your account online, searching/browsing the catalog.
  2. When your holds are ready, you will receive an email or phone notification from the library.
  3. At that point, you must call the library at (603) 427-1540 to schedule a pickup time, between 12 PM and 5 PM Monday through Friday. If you are a senior, high-risk or immunocompromised, you may schedule a pickup between 11 AM and 12 PM each day.
  4. Visit the library at the allotted time to retrieve your materials. At this time, you may also return any items you have out, using the library-approved procedure.

How will I pick up my holds?

Items will be placed in front of the library entrance, in bags labeled with your last name. Items will already be checked out to you – so feel free to take your bag and go! This is a no-contact service, meaning that staff will not be outdoors.

At this time the library building will remain closed to the public.

Please do not attempt to use curbside pickup carts to return materials. This is essential to maintain safe handling of all materials. Instead, you may bring your items to the Levenson Room door using the library-approved procedure.

How can I find out if my holds are ready?

We ask that you wait until the library has contacted you to let you know your items are ready. At that time, you may schedule a pickup.

How do I place holds on items?

Please visit cityofportsmouth.com/library/how-borrow for instructions on placing a hold online. If you have difficulty logging in, or accessing the internet, feel free to call us at (603) 427-1540 to place a hold over the phone.

Remember – we will let you know when the items are ready for you to schedule curbside pickup.

I don’t have a library card! Can I use this service?

Please visit cityofportsmouth.com/library/news/librarycard for instructions on signing up for a library card remotely.

Can I request items from other libraries?

No. At this time, we are not receiving items from the schools or from other NH libraries.

Can I request additional items after I reserve my pickup time?

You can reserve additional items, per pickup, but if you reserve more items after your pickup time is confirmed, we cannot promise they will make it into your package.

What safety precautions is the library taking?

In accordance with city policy, you will be required to wear a face mask while returning materials.

In concert with the city, the library has taken the following steps before offering these services:

  • Completed a detailed cleaning of the library building
  • Deep cleaned frequently used surfaces
  • Obtained adequate stores of disinfectant and hand sanitizer, as well as protective gear for staff

All staff will be wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing while in the building.

In addition, we will be quarantining all returning items for a minimum of 72 hours. We will also be quarantining all newly ordered and received items arriving in the library, before they are added to the library’s collection.

All library services will be operated with the minimum number of library staff, to avoid opportunities for contact.

How long will you offer this service?

Until further notice. Since our service levels are determined based on a number of public health factors, we do not know when our services, or our hours, will change. Please check our website at cityofportsmouth.com/library for updates.

Rest assured that library and city staff are working on plans for the next phase of reopening, and we look forward to serving you further in the future!

Remote Printing with Curbside Pickup

The library will also offer remote printing for curbside pickup. Here’s how it works.

  1. Upload your print job through our Printeron service, or send your files to libinfo@cityofportsmouth.com.
  2. You may print up to 10 pages free of charge per day. At this time we cannot print more than 10 pages, or accept payment for printing.
  3. Pick up your document(s) the next business day between 12 PM and 5 PM. They will be located in front of the library, with other curbside pickups. Printed jobs will be placed confidentially in a manila envelope, and labeled with the name used in Printeron or in the email.
  4. Questions? Call us at 603-766-1720.