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COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic Information

PHASE 3 SERVICES FAQs

Phase 3 Services

San Antonio Public Library

FAQs

What library services will be available during Phase 3?

As of November 4, contact-free pickup of library materials is available at all library locations except for the Briscoe Portal.

As of November 4, computer access by appointment is available at all library locations except for the Briscoe Portal.

Who can use contact-free pickup?

Contact-free pickup is available for anyone with a current San Antonio Public Library card.  If you do not have a card, but would like one and you are a Bexar county resident, please apply for one on our website at mysapl.org or call one of our locations for assistance.  If you have fines, we invite you to pay them online by logging into your account at mysapl.org, however you might be able to still check out items if you have fines – please ask a staff member for details.

Which libraries are offering contact-free pickup?

All SAPL branches and the Central Library are offering contact-free pickup except for the Kampmann Library Portal at the Briscoe Museum. The Potranco Holds Locker is not an option for use at this time.

What time can I pick up my items?

Contact-free pickup is available at all locations except for San Pedro and McCreless: Tuesday, 12pm – 7pm & Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm

Due to current construction projects, contact-free pickup will be available at McCreless: Tuesday 3PM-7PM; Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 11AM-3PM

When are public computers available?

Public computers are available for one hour appointments at all locations except for San Pedro and McCreless: Tuesday, 3pm – 7pm & Wednesday – Saturday, 1pm – 5pm:

Appointments times include:

Tuesdays: 3pm, 4:30pm, 6pm

Wednesdays-Saturdays: 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm

How do I make an appointment for a computer session?

Call the location you would like to visit or 210-207-2500 no earlier than 1 business day before you would like to use a computer. Sessions are limited to one per day per person.

Why are computer sessions for one hour only?

The health and safety of the community is our priority so we are seeking to limit the amount of contact users have with each other and staff to provide a safe environment for everyone. Computers are sanitized between users so time is built into the schedule to allow 30 minutes for staff to make sure each computer and station has been thoroughly sanitized.

How often can I use the computers?

You are limited to one session per day to maximize the number of users who can use the computers.

How many people can come into the building during my appointment?

The number of people should be limited to as few as possible to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Areas of the library other than the computer stations cannot be accessed and collections are not available for browsing.

What will be required to enter a library building to use a computer?

A library card is not required to use a computer, but we are asking our customers to follow a few guidelines:

A mask must be worn by everyone over the age of 10.

A health screening including questions regarding symptoms and a temperature check will occur. A temperature higher than 99.6 will be rechecked after 5 minutes.

Use the provided hand sanitizer before entering the building.

Maintain at least 6 feet from staff and other users at all times

If you need an accommodation, please speak with a staff member when you call to make the computer appointment.

Will staff be able to help me use the computer?

Staff must maintain at least 6 feet from each other and from computer users. Please plan to bring a friend or family member with you if you need computer assistance.

Can I check out books and other materials while I am using the computers?

Materials can only be checked out through the contact-free pickup service.

Can I pick up my holds now?

Please wait until you receive a notice through email or phone informing you that your items are available for pickup. You can check your account online, or call your library. Please have your library card number available when you call.

Who can pickup my items?

Anyone can pickup your items as long as they call with your library card number to check the items out to your account upon arrival.  You will need to have the card number for each account you intend to pickup for. The library card must match the account the hold was placed under. (For example, if you are picking up items on your son’s account, you must use his library card number and not your own to pick up the items.).

How does contact-free pickup work?

Materials can be placed on hold online using a library account at mysapl.org or by calling your local library branch. A list of SAPL locations and phone numbers can be found at this website https://www.mysapl.org/Visit. You will be asked to confirm which library location you will be visiting to pick up your holds.

A notification will be sent by email or phone when items are ready for pick-up. You can also call your local branch for a confirmation by phone that your items are ready for pick-up.

Visit your library location to pick-up your items on hold. Upon arrival, call your library and provide your library card number. Library staff will check- out your items and then bring them outside and place them on a table next to the entrance.

Please wait until the library employee has returned inside the building to collect your library materials from the table.

For safety of staff and other patrons, please return materials to the outside book drop.

Do I need my library card?

Yes, please have your number ready when you call from the parking lot. You will need to have the card number for each account you will be picking up for.

What if I don’t have a card?

You can call us or apply online and get a temporary one. When you arrive for pickup, we will verify information with you over the phone. Once the library reopens to allow the public to enter, we will ask to see your photo ID and address verification for full card privileges.

Why aren’t all of my holds ready?

Due to the quarantine of materials, there may be a longer wait for all holds to arrive. We are working quickly to get these items ready for you to pickup. Thank you for your patience.

Where do I return items?

In order to ensure the safety of other patrons and our staff, please return all items to the outside book drops. You are welcome to return any media or inter-library loan items in the book drops as well. Please allow 96 hours for the items to show as returned and off of your account. Fines will not accrue during the 96-hour quarantine period.

I returned my items, but my account still shows the items as checked out to me.

In order to ensure the safety of our staff and patrons, all items are being quarantined for 96 hours before staff check them in.  This allows for an abundance of caution to ensure we do not contribute to community transmission of the virus.

Can I check out available items and pick them up on the same day?

Staff can hold available items as a courtesy for same-day pickup. Please call the location to confirm availability and ask to hold them under your name or library card number. When you arrive at the library to pick up your holds, please let staff know that you are have courtesy holds for same-day pickup.

What if I don’t have a car?

If you are traveling by bike, foot, or VIA, you are welcome to follow the same procedures, just call when you arrive and ensure you are at least 6 feet away from the table to allow staff to safely place your items on the table.

What if I am not able to contact the library by phone to pick up my items?

If you cannot contact us because you do not have a phone or need an accommodation because of a disability, please approach the front entrance once staff is not present outside and knock on the glass. A staff member will approach. Please show us your library card through the glass (just place it flat on the glass for staff to view and write down the number), and we will then check out your items for you. Once staff gathers your items, please back away from the table at least 6 feet for the safety of our staff and other patrons.  A staff member will then bring your items to the table. Once staff is safely back inside the building, you are welcome to pick up your items. Staff are also available through chat service at http://ask.mysapl.org/.

What if I have items on hold but do not feel comfortable using the contact-free service?

If you would rather wait until a later time to pick up your items, you can sign into your account online and pause your hold. This will keep you in the queue but allow you the freedom to choose to pick the item up at a later date.  If you have items that are already on the hold shelf for you, please call your library location for assistance.

What if I need special accommodations due to a disability or other reason?

We have a variety of ways to contact library staff including by phone (local branch number or Central at 210-207-2500) and chat or text at http://ask.mysapl.org/. If there is something else we can do to help, please let us know.

Can a librarian help me with Overdrive/Kindle/Libby/Nook/computer questions?

We are happy to do this for you over the phone or through chat. Please visit us at mysapl.org, call your local branch, or the Central Library at 210-207-2500.

What are the safety precautions your staff is taking?

All staff members are screened for symptoms and have their temperature taken prior to entering the building daily.  All staff are required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing from one another and from the public.  Staff  will sanitize their hands after each interaction with a customer’s materials.  We are sanitizing common areas and common high-touch surfaces (doors, light switches, etc.).  All returned items are being quarantined for 96 hours before staff check them in or handle the materials.  We chose the contact-free method rather than traditional “curbside” to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff. This method better allows for social distancing.

Is the library accepting donations?

We are not accepting donations of materials at this time.

When will I be allowed to use the library regularly again?

The Library has planned a phased reopening approach so that all measures can be in place in order to protect the safety of the community and staff. We do not know when the doors will open to the public, but we will continue to communicate changes as they occur.

Will Interlibrary Loan and Homebound programs resume?

As of June 10, Interlibrary Loan and Homebound programs have resumed. Email InterlibraryLoanServices@sanantonio.gov for more information.