Contact-Free Holds Pickup

How does it work for Oak Park cardholders?

  1. Confirm which items you want and have on hold. Log in to your Oak Park library account to manage your holds (see below).
  2. Wait for your personalized notification letting you know which specific items are ready. Note: items ready for pickup will show as checkouts on your account.
  3. Meet us outside the Main Library (between 10 am and 6 pm, Monday through Saturday) with your library card number within 7 days after you receive your personalized notification. See below for exactly where to go once you arrive; it depends on how you’re getting here.
  4. Once you arrive, text “here” to 708.303.0040. No cell phone? Let us know before you arrive.
  5. Receive your bagged materials, contact-free, and enjoy! Regular loan rules apply »

Getting started

1. Log in to your Oak Park Public Library account as you normally do (via web browser or SWAN app).

2. Review your existing holds and decide:

  • Yes, I want this item now. (There’s nothing for you to do.)
  • No, I no longer want this item. (Choose to cancel this hold.)
  • I can wait longer. (Choose “Edit/Suspend Hold(s).” This delays when your hold will be filled. Use this so you don’t receive all your holds at once.)

3. Add new items from the Oak Park collection to your holds list.

Here’s more help from SWAN on how to manage your holds »

Available Oak Park items, including books, audiobooks, movies (DVD and Blu-ray), CDs, and magazines. Please note:

  • Only Oak Park Public Library collection (no interlibrary loan) items are available at this time.
  • To create better access to the most popular materials, we have temporarily changed the loan rules for both Hot Picks and magazines. While our stacks are closed to browsing, items in both these collections will be available to place on hold and to check out. This is currently planned as a temporary change. Loan periods are three weeks.
  • Each bagged pickup is limited to 30 items or less.

Please bring your library card and/or account number.

Items will be shared in a single-use bag.

Anyone picking up items is highly encouraged to wear a face covering; all staff will be wearing face coverings as well. 

To limit in-person contact for patrons and staff, we will not be able to answer account or reference questions at the pickup points.

Please continue to contact us online, through our new website chat service (hours vary), and at 708.383.8200 for account assistance.

How it works

As it was in pre-COVID-19 times, you can expect to receive a personalized notification when holds are ready.

Note: your items ready for pickup will show as checkouts on your account.

Questions? Be sure to contact us first (online or at 708.383.8200) before heading to the Main Library.

We will contact you by email or phone to let you know your materials are ready for pickup.

After 7 days, we will return unclaimed holds to the shelves.

Map of Main Library and surrounding area with N. Grove Avenue highlightedPlease remember, neither the Main Library building nor the parking garage will be open to the public.

If you are coming by vehicle and staying in your car:

  • Pull up to the turning circle near the plaza on N. Grove Avenue (see map).
  • Check in by texting “here” to 708.303.0040 and follow the prompts. We will ask for your name, library card number, and color of your car to identify you.
  • Please pop your trunk and get back in your vehicle.
  • Library staff will place the bag of holds in your trunk.
  • If the car pickup location on N. Grove Avenue looks busy, please consider parking and using the in-person pickup point outside the Main Library entrance or coming back at a later time. 
  • Anyone picking up items is highly encouraged to wear a face covering; all staff will be wearing face coverings as well.

Please remember, neither the Main Library building nor the parking garage will be open to the public.

If you are coming in person (e.g., walking or biking):

  • The pickup location will be just outside the Main Library entrance. 
  • Check in when you arrive by texting “here” to 708.303.0040 and follow the prompts. We will ask for your name, library card number, and color of your shirt to identify you.
  • Library staff will place your bag of holds on a table outside of the library door for you to take. 
  • Please be mindful of other patrons and follow sidewalk markings to stay physically distant when waiting at the table pickup point. 
  • Anyone picking up items is highly encouraged to wear a face covering; all staff will be wearing face coverings as well.

It varies, so please be prepared to be at the library at least 5 minutes. The speed of your holds pickup depends on factors including traffic at the library before you arrived.

The maximum number of holds for all Oak Park Public Library cards is 30.

Checkouts are 3 weeks, and you can have up to 5 renewals on items as long as no other holds are on them.

Yes! After you receive a notification that your holds are ready for pickup, please come to the Main Library between 10 am and 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and let the Social Services and Public Safety team member on the plaza know that you are here to pick up your holds. They will contact a staff member to assist you! Please have your library card number ready to share with staff.

Due to various safety considerations for both staff and patrons, we won’t be resuming Home Delivery services until the library enters Service Level 2.
 
At that time, we will expand our Home Delivery services to new participants, prioritizing patrons at high risk of contracting the virus and/or those who have no other means of safely getting physical materials from the library, including residents who identify as seniors (60+), those who have preexisting conditions or are otherwise immunocompromised, and families with young children. 
 
If you would like to apply to receive Home Delivery services when the library enters Service Level 2, please fill out this request form
 
If you received Home Delivery services prior to library building closures, a library staff member will contact you prior to resuming delivery services in Service Level 2 to confirm you want to continue the service and explain any changes related to health and safety

Putting people & safety first

Our top priorities for library staff to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Physical distancing
  • Frequent disinfecting of common surfaces
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) 

In addition:

  • This new service happens only in outdoor spaces.
  • Staff and patrons have no physical contact. 
  • Before reporting to work, staff are required to fill out a daily health screening form and will come to work only if they (and household members) are healthy and have not knowingly been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.
  • A limited number of staff are allowed in the building at the same time.
    • Proper physical distancing practices are in place.
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided.
  • High-touch workspaces are regularly cleaned with disinfectant.
  • All physical library materials are quarantined for a minimum of 3 days before being put back into circulation for the next user.

Find details here in our staff Safer Working Guide »

  • Don’t microwave library items. Most have RFID tags that can catch on fire in a microwave.
  • Don’t leave library materials in a hot car, as extreme heat can damage them.
  • Don’t expose library items to ultraviolet light, which also can damage them.
  • Don’t spray library items with disinfectant, which can damage covers and pages. You may use sanitizing wipes on plastic book covers and DVD and CD cases.

All physical library materials are quarantined for a minimum of 3 days before being put back into circulation for the next user. And among other safety guidelines, our staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and routinely disinfect high-touch surfaces.

Every public library, like every community, is different. Since COVID-19 shut down much of our world, putting people and safety first has informed our decisions and driven our work. We know that work hasn’t looked the same for every community in Illinois or in our suburban Chicago area.

As Oak Park’s public library, we are grateful to serve a community of avid readers. Right now about 3,000 Oak Parkers have more than 10,000 items on hold. Averaging that out that means 100 pickups a day for roughly the next 30 days.

That’s a lot of pickups! And we’re ready! But still…

We ask you to please be patient with us as we launch this new service.

When we surveyed cardholders in early May, we heard that people were most looking forward to being able to once again access physical collections and pick up their holds. That’s why we prioritized this new contact-free holds pickup service for Oak Park residents.

Looking ahead, we know a return to all public spaces and all library services will not be immediate. Putting the health, safety, and well-being of our community, our patrons, and our library staff first, we will reintroduce services following a carefully planned and research-informed approach. See our full plan to reintroduce services and reopen buildings »

What's next

For items that were checked out before library buildings closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now accepting staggered returns. Returns will be accepted only on designated tables outside the Main Library, 834 Lake St., Monday through Saturday, between 10 am and 6 pm. Cardboard boxes are set up on the tables for items to be put inside. 

Returns will not be accepted when left in any other location outside any library building or book drop. All internal and outside book drops remain sealed, and we are not collecting and emptying book drops. Learn more »

  • Please know that due dates for materials checked out before March 13 have been extended to July 31, so you don’t need to return those items before then, unless you would like to. 
  • All SWAN due dates will continue to be extended as needed. And remember, there are no late fines for Oak Park items.
  • For contact-free holds pickup, regular loan rules apply

Right now, based on the library’s plan to safely reintroduce services and reopen buildings, we are at Service Level 1.

At Service Level 2, only the Main Library will open to the public with specific capacity limits and some onsite staff for materials and technology support, with public computer use by appointment only.

At Service Level 3, Dole & Maze branches will reopen, with smaller-scale public meetings and library programs beginning and study room use only by appointment. Also at Service Level 3, there will be full access to materials stacks and special collections.

However, we do not have dates for future service levels yet, as the library continues to monitor recommendations from local and national health authorities for guidance in our next steps and when we can introduce the next service level in our plan. Learn more »

Only Oak Park Public Library materials are available for pickup at this time since there is no confirmed timeline yet for our regional library system (RAILS) to begin to share materials again between libraries. RAILS is requiring all SWAN libraries to quarantine materials for at least 3 days before checking items back in.

Help with accounts & holds

Need help placing a hold? Have account questions? We can help!

Stay current on news and new arrivals.

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