Beginning June 15: Curbside & In-Lobby Pickup

Beginning June 15: 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.

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, and Saturday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
3:00 - 6:00 pm (building closed from 1-3 pm)

How do I place a hold for pickup?

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. When you arrive at the Library, please give staff your name and they will check it out, place it in a bag, and you can retrieve it. The process is completely contact-free. Note that same-day pickup is not possible.

How do I arrange for a scheduled 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. Then, go to our online calendar and register for a curbside pickup appointment. When you arrive for your appointment, pull up into one of the four 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 your scheduled pickup time.

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 bins. 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 mobility limitations that prevent you from accessing the outside bins, 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.

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.

At this time, we are unable to allow browsing of materials. All materials must be placed on hold before you come to the library to pick them up, either in-lobby or using our curbside service. Same day pick-up is not available.

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.