Book Returns Open; Curbside Pickup Available

We’ve begun our phased reopening plan starting with returning your library items. We also have started offering curbside pickup service in a way that provides library items to you and also keeps you and our staff safe. For this process to be successful, we need everyone’s patience and cooperation, so please read through the following guidelines carefully. The library is complying with social distancing guidelines and is operating with limited staff, so please be patient with our new procedures. We are excited to get library items into your hands and see you again.

 

Returns

• There are two return bins in our northwest parking lot – follow the signs.

• Returns will ONLY be accepted through the return bins -- our drive-thru return slot will be closed for the time being.

• You have the entire month of June to return items (due dates were extended to July 1), so PLEASE DON’T RUSH TO RETURN YOUR ITEMS; otherwise our limited staff will be overwhelmed.

• All returned items will be held in quarantine before they are checked in.

• We cannot accept any personal book donations, either through the return bins or during curbside pickup.

Curbside Pickup

• Curbside pickup is available BY APPOINTMENT ONLY!

• Curbside pickup is only for McHenry Public Library District cardholders. If you live in our district, but don’t have a card, you can apply for a temporary digital card number here.

• Curbside service hours will be as follows:  Monday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Wednesday, 2-7 p.m.

• We can only provide MPLD items at this time. We aren’t able to request items from other libraries due to van delivery not being available right now.

• Pickup items will be in plastic bags. Please do not return the bags to us.

• A physical library card is not required for checkout. Items will be checked out ahead of time by library staff.

• You will get an email or a phone call when your items are available for pickup.

• Please do not come to the library to pick up materials unless you have reserved a time slot with staff for pickup.

• Pickup will only be available directly in front of the building, marked by signage.

• Returns and donations will not be accepted at curbside pickup.

How it Works

Place items on hold. There are 4 ways to place holds on our items:

1. Through our online catalog

2. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Phone -- call us at 815-385-0036, Ext. 2. We will place holds on items for you and schedule a pickup time.

4. New! Chat through our website – look for the blue “bubble” on the right-hand side of our home page.

 

When you’ve been notified your items are ready, make your pickup reservation

• Once you have gotten an email or phone call that your items are ready, call 815-385-0036 and select Option 1, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or chat online with our staff to reserve a pickup time.

Pick up your items at the library

• Head to the library and enter the parking lot from the north, then pull up directly in front of the building in the no parking zone, following signs. PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR!

• Call the library’s main number – 815-385-0036, Ext. 5 – and give staff your name.

• Staff will then retrieve your bag of items and place it on a cart. They will wheel the cart to your car and step away while you retrieve your bag.

• Once you have your items, you may proceed to the exit.

• Staff has been instructed not to approach you or accept any returns or donations from you. Please respect this guideline.

• If you do not pick up your items at the designated time, you will be called again and will have 2 days to reschedule a pickup. After that, your holds will be cancelled.

 

Questions and Answers

Can I place a hold on items over the phone? Yes. Call us at 815-385-0036, Ext. 2, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also use our new chat service on our website.

How do I return library items? Please return your library items in the temporary book return bins in the northwest portion of our parking lot. Do not return items to staff members at curbside pickup.

What if I have a Roku or Wifi Hotspot to return? Can those be put in the bins? Yes, all library items can be placed in the return bins – including Rokus and Hotspots. Use either bin – we have a second bin out there for overflow. You will not be charged a fee for returning a Roku or hotspot in the book drop instead of at the Questions Desk.

What if I have holds already waiting for me at the library? We will call those patrons and ask if they still want their holds. If so, we’ll schedule curbside pickup; if not, the item will be checked in and available for others to check out.

Do I need a library card to use curbside pickup? Yes, you must have a McHenry Public Library District card in order to place holds. However, you will not need the physical card to pick up your holds. All items will be checked out to you before you pick them up. If you live in our district and don’t have a card, you can apply here for a temporary card number to use until we reopen to the public and you can come in to pick up a new, physical card.

What if I have fines on my account? For patrons who had late fees on their account that blocked checkout privileges before the library closed to the public (March 15, 2020), we are overriding that block so those patrons can check out items. The exception will be late fees of more than $75 or more than 2 lost items. No fines have accrued since we closed in March, and due dates have been extended to July 1.

What if I don’t have a mobile phone? How can I let you know I’m in the curbside pickup area? If you do not have a mobile phone to alert us that you are at the library to pick up your items, please notify us ahead of time via a landline call or via email, and we will make special arrangements for your pickup.

What if I miss or have to change my pickup time? If you miss or have to change your pick-up time, call 815-385-0036, Option 1, to reschedule. Items that have been scheduled and are not picked up will be cancelled after 2 days. Please do not come to pick up materials without a scheduled/confirmed time slot.

What if it is raining or we have bad weather? We will do our best to provide pickup service in any weather. Should dangerous weather conditions arise, we will suspend services until it is safe. We will contact patrons as soon as possible to avoid complications. Items will be in plastic bags to protect them, protect your privacy, and to limit physical contact with the items.

Are library items safe to use? All MPLD materials will be quarantined before they are checked in and made available to others for checkout. We are following the guidelines set forth by our library system, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS). However, no industry organizations can make any medical/scientific safety guarantees regarding library materials. It will be up to the individual patron to determine their comfort level using library materials.

What are you doing to protect the safety of patrons and staff? See our quarantine guidelines in the answer above, plus the library is providing staff with PPE (personal protective equipment). The library will continue to follow the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines. Curbside pickup will be no-contact, where both patrons and staff maintain social distancing protocol and follow all MPLD procedures for such service.

 


 

Library Cards and e-Services Available with Your Library Card

Did you know you can access our virtual library 24/7 from the comfort of your home using your computer, tablet or smart phone? You'll need a library card number to download e-content and to use most of our e-services. Our virtual library includes eBooks, music, audiobooks, movies & TV, magazines & newspapers, learning opportunities, DIY, curated research materials, local & family history, and much more. If you're new to our virtual library and are wondering where to start, here's how to access our digital content and virtual resources, and get a library card.

 

Virtual Programming

We're offering virtual programsstorytimes and tutorials. Some of our virtual programs require an email address when registering. Some are live, and some recorded on our YouTube Channel.

 

Have a Question? Need Help?

If you have a question about library services, our digital collection or your library account, chat with us through our website, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., leave us a message on our Facebook page, or leave us a voicemail at our main phone number -- 815-385-0036.

 

Services and Resources for Children

  • The library is starting its "Grab 'n Go" free boxed meal service for kids ages 18 and under M-F from 12-1 p.m. as part of the Northern IL Food Bank's Summer Meal Program. Families with kids can pick up their boxed meal at the Meeting Room Door on the north side of the library building (look for the banner). Kids do not need to be present to pick up meals.
     
  • For those of you with young children, our wonderful youth librarians have put together this list of online resources so you and your child can continue the storytime fun at home! Also, here'sgreat e-book that explains the virus in simple terms for kids.

  • We've put together a list of free online resources for all ages, from storytimes to music to virtual field trips to creative projects.

 

Library WiFi Access 24/7

Our free wifi network is available in our parking lot close to the building 24 hours a day. The name of it is "MPLD Patron."

 

Meeting Rooms Closed

All public meeting rooms are closed until further notice, and reservations have been canceled. 

 

More Information

As more information is made available, this website and our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) will be updated. You can also sign up for the library's e-newsletter for updates.

 

Resources from Officials
If you’d like more information about the coronavirus, McHenry County, state and federal health agencies regularly update their websites with current information.

 

Resources for Businesses

The city of McHenry has implemented a small business Microloan Program, an economic incentive program featuring short-term financing to help small businesses in these trying times. 

The McHenry County Dept. of Health has a web page dedicated to resources to help businesses through this pandemic, including information on the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.

  

Additional Information

Ways to Help Prevent the Spread of the Virus
The CDC states that the virus is mainly spread by droplets from people sneezing and coughing. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which is why diligent hand washing and sanitizing are so important, as well as abiding by social distancing guidelines. The CDC advises the following measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If no soap and water are available, use a 60% or more alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are ill.

·         The library will start accepting returns of library items beginning Monday, June 1 at 9 a.m.

·         There will be two return bins in our northwest parking lot – follow the signs.

·         Returns will ONLY be accepted through the return bins -- our drive-thru return slot will be closed for the time being.

·         You have the entire month of June to return items (due dates were extended to July 1), so PLEASE DON’T RUSH TO RETURN YOUR ITEMS; otherwise our limited staff will be overwhelmed.

·         All returned items will be held in quarantine for 7 days before they are checked in.

·         We cannot accept any personal book donations, either through the return bins or during curbside pickup.