Library service FAQ

Updated March 1, 2021

Holds

Can I pick up my holds?
Yes. Holds pickup service is available at all libraries.

How can I pick up my holds? 
Schedule an appointment to pick up your holds. Same-day appointments are not available. View or cancel your existing appointment.

Do I need to wear a face covering to my holds pickup appointment?
Yes. Face coverings are required.

What if I missed my holds pickup appointment? 
We will hold your items for three additional days to allow you time to reschedule. If you do not reschedule, your items will be placed back on the shelf.

Can I place new holds? 
Yes. You can log into your My MCL account and place holds. Due to required changes to our processes, there will be delays in filling holds. 

What safety precautions are in place for using the holds pickup service?

  • Holds pickup service is by appointment only to ensure we can safely maintain six feet of physical distancing between patrons. 
  • Library staff will be wearing face coverings and will go through a health screening protocol each day before reporting to work. Patrons and visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings.
  • Library materials will be quarantined for 24 hours before being reshelved or placed on hold for another patron. 
  • Expanded cleaning protocols for all surfaces, including high-touch surfaces. 
  • Library returns need to be placed directly in the book drop and not handed to a staff member, whenever possible. 

Returns and late fees

Can I return items I have checked out? 
Yes. Book drops are open. 

Do I need to clean my library materials before returning them?
Please do not try to disinfect your materials at home as it will damage them. The library will put all returned items in quarantine for at least 24 hours before they are checked in and reshelved or put on hold for another patron.

How will returned items be handled?
All returned items are quarantined for 24 hours before they are made available again for checking out. This is a current recommended practice by public health officials, and we may change materials handling procedures as health information evolves. Due to this process, there will be a delay in items being checked in on your account. 

Will I be charged late fines if I don’t return the items I’ve been holding on to by a certain date?
No. Multnomah County Library is now permanently fine free! We no longer charge late fines. Read more about why we changed our policy and what it means for you. 

Other library services

Can I call you with my questions?
Yes. Library staff are ready to help you. Contact us by phone, email or chat. 

I need access to a printer. Can I print my items at the library? 
Yes. Free wireless printing is available at all libraries.

When will the library offer in-person programs? 
Currently, all library programs are canceled. We don’t have an expected date for when in-person programming or meeting room bookings will be available. The library is offering
virtual programming

Can I book a meeting room for a future date? 
We are unable to reserve meeting rooms, even for future dates. We don’t yet have a date for when we will be able to offer meeting rooms for public use.