Current Library Services

We are sad to announce that, due to rapidly changing public health conditions, the Portsmouth Public Library will take a step back in our reopening plan. Until further notice, we will not offer browsing, computer use, or any other services inside the building.

But don’t worry! You can still check out materials by placing a hold for Curbside Pickup – which we now offer on demand.

You can also continue to return library materials, get recommendations, attend online events, and access all online services.

Please know how much we have loved seeing everyone who came in for browsing in October and November, and we look forward to opening up further in the future.

Read on for more information about our current services! Library staff will keep this page updated as our services change.

HOURS

Monday – Tuesday: 11 AM – 1 PM and 3 – 7 PM
Wednesday – Thursday: 11 AM – 1 PM and 3 – 5 PM
Friday: CLOSED
Saturday: 11 AM – 3 PM
Sunday: CLOSED

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

MASK MANDATE

In accordance with the City’s mask ordinance, anyone over the age of 6 will be required to wear a face mask to use all library services, including returning and picking up materials.

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RETURNS

Please bring all returns to the front door of the library during open hours. Boxes will be available just inside the outer door of the library.

The library book drop remains closed.

All returned library materials will continue to be quarantined. Only after quarantine will they be checked in – so please do not worry if they still appear in your online account.

Read more about Returns & Curbside Pickup...

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CURBSIDE PICKUP

We are now offering Curbside Pickup on Demand! Here’s how it works:

  1. To place a hold on an item online, search/browse the catalog to find items you want. When you find an item you want to reserve, click on “Place a Hold.” Then follow the prompts to log into your account, if you haven’t already, and confirm your hold. Feel free to call us at 603-427-1540 if you need assistance at any time!
  2. When your holds are ready, you will receive an email, phone or text notification from the library.
  3.  At that point, you are ready to use curbside pickup on demand! Visit the library at any time during open hours. When you arrive, call our special Curbside Pickup number at 603-766-1705, or ring our doorbell, and we will bring your materials outside! They will already be checked out to you.
  4. At this time, you may also return any items you have out.

We will also continue to offer appointments for Curbside Pickup – if you would like your items to be outside at a particular time, just call our main number at 603-427-1540 to make an appointment.

We also offer complementary Remote Printing for Curbside Pickup!

Read more about Curbside Pickup here...

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GET A LIBRARY CARD ONLINE

All Portsmouth residents are eligible for a free library card.

If you've had one before but your account has expired, just call us during business hours at 603-427-1540 and we'll get you renewed. You can also call us if you've lost your card. 

If you’ve never signed up, don’t worry - you can get a library card online!

Read more and register for a Library Card here...

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ONLINE RESOURCES

PPL is committed to keeping you entertained and informed. Here are just some of the great resources we offer online! They are all FREE to anyone with a library card.

  • Hoopla – Download/stream music, movies, ebooks, audiobooks, and comics
  • Overdrive Libby – Download ebooks and audiobooks 
  • Kanopy - Stream films, Great Courses content, and children's programming
  • RBDigital – Download magazines
  • New York Times – Online access to the New York Times
  • EBSCOhost – Search for articles from journals and magazines
  • Portsmouth Exhibits – View our digitized local history collections
  • Lynda.com – Learn computer, business, and technical skills
  • Learning Express – Learn job search and workplace skills improvement, skill building in reading, writing, math, and basic science, career certification and licensure exam prep, college and grad school entrance test prep, GED® test prep, and more.
  • Mango Languages – Learn a new language, including English as a second language
  • Creativebug – Arts and Crafts classes for all skill levels. Class topics include: Art and Design, Knitting and Crochet, Sewing and Quilting, Papercrafts, Jewelry Making, Food and Home Decor, Holiday and Party Ideas, and Crafts for Kids 
  • Genealogy Resources – Heritage Quest, Fold3, Newspapers.com, and more!

Read more about our Digital Services here...

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GET RECOMMENDATIONS

What should you read, watch, or listen to next? We can help you answer this question. 

Personalized Book Lists & Bundles

  • Looking for your next great read?
  • Kids, Parents and Teens can use our Youth Book Suggestions Form to receive a customized book list or surprise book bundle curated by a youth services librarian!
  • Adults, fill out our PPL Rex: What's Next? Form and choose Recommendations - we can send you a list by email, or put items on hold!
  • Book lists on various topics are available here.

Research Help

  • If you're learning about a new topic - delving into your family genealogy, thinking about going gluten-free, starting a yoga practice, thinking about opening your own business, buying a new mattress, anything! - let our reference librarians find you credible resources.
  • Fill out our PPL Rex: What's Next? Form and choose Research Help. We'll send you personalized research materials, and answer any follow-up questions you may have!

Monthly Emails with Titles in your Favorite Genre

  • Have you signed up for our NextReads newsletters? You can choose from a variety of genres, and receive curated monthly emails with book titles, linked directly to our catalog so it's easy to place a hold.
  • To sign up and start receiving recommendations, visit cityofportsmouth.com/library/nextreads.

Curated Book Lists

  • We're always creating book lists on new topics! Each one links directly to books in our catalog so it's easy to place holds. See all our book lists here!

Read more about Recommendations here...

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ONLINE EVENTS

The library continues to offer a wealth of programming that's FREE and open to all. This includes story times, lectures, meditation, discussion groups, and so much more!

See our full calendar here...

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Can I Still Use the Library's Wifi?

Yes! Our WiFi is accessible from outside the building – feel free to use the library grounds to access it.

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How Long Will This Phase Last?

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 for updates.