Library Services FAQs
San Antonio Public Library
What library services are currently available?
Will I be required to wear a mask while in the library?
All staff and visitors entering library facilities are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you should not enter the library.
What public health safety measures are still maintained for patrons and library staff?
Hand sanitizers are available for public use. Common areas and high-touch surfaces (water fountains, doors, light switches, etc.) are frequently cleaned. Contact-free pickup will continue to be available as a safe way for patrons to get their items.
Who can use contact-free pickup?
Contact-free pickup will continue to be 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 online 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.
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 pick up my items?
Anyone can pick up 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 pick up 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 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.
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 ask to see your photo ID and address verification for full card privileges.
Where do I return items?
You can 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.
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 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 and let staff know that you need assistance. Please show us your library card, and we will then check out your items for you. A staff member will then bring your items to the table.
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.
How long can I use the computers?
Each time you log onto an available public computer you get a one-hour session. You can use up to 8 hours of computer time each day depending on availability (computer wait list at the sign-up kiosk).
What if I need my computer session to be longer than one hour?
Depending on the computer wait list, Library staff have the option to extend session time so you can complete a task. Please alert them at least 10 minutes prior to the end of your session. Alternatively, you may benefit from using the computer with extra assistance at one of our Learn Centers.
Can a librarian help me with Overdrive/Kindle/Libby/Nook/computer questions?
We are happy to assist over the phone, online, or in person at one of our Learn Centers. Please visit us at mysapl.org, call your local branch, or the Central Library at 210-207-2500.
Is printing available? What about copying, scanning, and faxing?
Printing and copying are available for a small fee at all SAPL locations offering public computer access. You can also upload documents remotely through our Printing Portal. Scanning and faxing services are offered free of charge, but faxing is only available at the Central Library and Learn Centers.
Can I get a birth certificate at the library?
Our Library locations are currently unable to provide birth certificates; see Vital Records for other options.
Is the library accepting donations?
The BookCellar in Central Library's basement is accepting donations. Although they are open only on Thu-Fri-Sat 11-4, volunteers are usually available Mon-Fri 10-4 for inquiries at (210) 227-9519 or you can reach out to them via email at email@example.com.