Curbside & In-Lobby Pickup

Curbside & In-Lobby Pickup

We are pleased to announce our June 15, 2020 limited reopening for curbside and in-lobby pickup of TCPL library materials! See below for answers to your most pressing questions. (Updated November 25, 2020)

Why is TCPL reopening?

When Governor Cuomo released his New York Forward plan, libraries were initially deemed to be part of Phase 4 along with education and entertainment. Recently, however, aspects of library service have been reclassified as belonging to Phase 1 (retail limited to curbside pickup or in-store pickup). Along with the other libraries in Tompkins County, TCPL has created a plan to offer hold pickups (both in-lobby and curbside). This plan takes into consideration all state and local health mandates, and aims to keep staff and patrons as safe as possible.

What services is TCPL offering?

We are able to offer hold pickups two ways:

Curbside: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
3:00 - 6:00 pm (building closed from 1-3 pm)

In-Lobby: Tuesday, Thursday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
3:00 - 6:00 pm (building closed from 1-3 pm)

In-Lobby: Saturday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm (building closed from 1-2 pm)

As of August 11, we are now able to offer limited Internet and Copy/Fax Print Services on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday during our open hours.

How do I place a hold?

You can place a hold as you normally would, using the online catalog or by calling 607-272-4556. You will receive a notification once your hold is ready. Once you receive the notification, you can choose to take advantage of our in-lobby drop-in hours or schedule a curbside pickup. Note that same-day pickup is not possible.

How do I arrange for in-lobby pickup?

In-lobby pickup hours are drop-in, so you do not need to call ahead, but you DO need to have gotten a notice that your holds are ready.

How do I schedule a curbside pickup?

If you would like to use our curbside pickup service, place a hold on an item and wait until you receive a notification that your hold is ready. When you're ready to pick up your items, pull up into one of the three marked spots on the Cayuga Street side of the library, and call or text the number designated on the sign. A staff member will bring your items out to you to place in your car's trunk or back seat. Again, this process is completely contact-free, but we do ask that you wear a mask during curbside pickup.

Note: as of November 30, you no longer need to make an online appointment for curbside pickup.

Can I return items while I pick up my holds?

In-lobby and curbside service is limited to the pick-up of materials only. For safety reasons, returns must be made in the open outside bookdrops (marked with a sign). Due to the 72-hour quarantine requirement for materials, no items can be brought into the building or returned to staff. Please keep this in mind while you plan your trip to TCPL.

If you have book club kits, storytime kits, or board book bundles to return that will not fit in the bookdrops, you can hand them to a staff person on curbside pickup days or place them in the quarantine cart by the entrance on in-lobby pickup days.

If you have mobility limitations that prevent you from accessing the outside bookdrops, please call 607-272-4556 or email and a librarian can help you with this process.

Are library materials safe?

Safety guidelines outlined by the American Library Association recommend a 48 to 72-hour quarantining of materials. We are quarantining materials for 72 hours. Staff are required to wear masks and gloves while processing holds for pickup. We recommend you use the same safety guidelines for bringing outside items into your own home.

When will the library fully reopen?

We are planning a staged reopening which began with holds pickup in June. Limited internet service is planned next, hopefully in mid-August. We are still working on how and when to open the stacks for browsing and our public spaces for community use. Safety of our patrons and staff is our number one priority, so we thank you for your patience!

What else do I need to know?

Part of the reopening plan requires separate entrances and exits for staff and patrons. You will be asked to enter the building on the south side, through the door just beyond the Ezra Cornell mural. Please note that masks and six feet of social distancing are required to enter the building. You will be able to exit the building through the lobby facing Green Street.

Safety guidelines mandate a 10-person limit in the main part of the building at all times, so patrons may need to wait at the entrance to be allowed in. Staff will be monitoring the limit and guiding patrons through the library.

Thank you for your patience as we move towards welcoming you back into our building. Please contact 607-272-4556 or email with any questions. We look forward to seeing you soon.