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Durham County Library COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, all Durham County Library locations are currently closed for regular public access. While our doors are closed, we are working to provide alternate ways for people to access library resources:

Library Take-Out!

As of June 16, you can now place holds on books, DVDs, and CDs, and schedule a time to pick them up at the library when they’re available. Here’s how it works:

  1. First, place holds on the item(s) you want by logging into your account online or calling your location. The phone line is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  2. Maximum of 10 holds, at any stage of the process, at a time.
  3. Wait until you get a notification saying your holds are ready.
  4. Set a pickup time through the online reservation system or by calling your location.

Complete instructions can be found at DurhamCountyLibrary.org/TakeOut.


Online access

While our doors are closed, you can still check out our online resources, including ebooks, e-audiobooks, magazines, TV shows, and more.


What to do with library items

As of 9/18, book return options are now available 24/7. You can return items at any location anytime.

At Main Library, you can return items using the automated book return on the outside of the building facing Liberty Street. The book drop in the lower lot at Main Library is not open at this time.

The outside book drops are open for returns at all of our other locations.

When using any of our return options, please:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.

Recently returned items

Items returned during Library Take-Out will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before they are removed from accounts. They are then cleaned by library staff before being recirculated. That time period may be longer in some cases due to library schedule, return volume, or other factors. You may continue to get overdue notices for returned items during that time – if so, you can ignore them. We are now fine-free, so you won’t be charged fees for items while they’re going through this process.

Special item types

You can now bring back your interlibrary loan (ILL) items during regular takeout hours. Keep in mind that it will be at least 72 hours before the item is checked in at the locations. Contact the location from which you borrowed your item(s) if you have questions.

The print Lucky Day collection has been temporarily suspended. Lucky Day books have been converted to act like “regular” books: contrary to the information on the sticker, they now check out for 21 days, can fill holds, and can be renewed if not requested by another customer. If you have a Lucky Day book out, you can keep it until your account shows that it’s due.

Book donations to the Friends of the Durham Library are on hold until further notice.


Account options

Current cardholders

If you have an existing Durham County Library card, you can sign in with your account number and PIN to place holds for pickup and to access online resources. Your account number is the full 14-digit number from the back of your card, starting with 2345, entered with no spaces. If you don’t know your PIN, try the last 4 digits of the phone number associated with your account – if that doesn’t work, get in touch.

To make sure that all cardholders are able to access our online resources, while our locations are closed, we are temporarily removing checkout restrictions based on previously accumulated fines. Even if you have $10+ of fines on your account, you will be able to use our online resources during this closure.

Don’t have a card?

Are you a Durham County resident without a library card? You can use your mobile phone number to sign up for a temporary card. When you first sign up, your temporary card will only work for ebooks and e-audiobooks through OverDrive / Libby. After it’s been processed, you will be able to use it for other online resources and to place holds on items for pickup. Your access will work as long as the library is closed (after that, you’ll need to come in to make your card permanent). Learn more, or sign up for a temporary online card.

While we’re closed, Durham Public Schools teachers and staff can get a library card by contacting us online, even if you’re not a Durham County resident. Let us know you’re a DPS staff member who needs a card, and we’ll take it from there.

Durham Public Schools students

Did you know that you can access Durham County Library’s ebooks, e-audiobooks, and more using your Durham Public Schools student ID number? Now is the perfect time to try it out – learn more about access for DPS students.


Thank you for your patience and support during this time! Our commitment to the safety of staff and customers is foremost as we work toward reopening. We will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

-Your family at the Durham County Library

Comments on this post are closed. If you have questions about any of this information, please get in touch with us at https://durhamcountylibrary.org/ask-us/.

22 Responses to Durham County Library COVID-19 Update

  1. Avatar
    Frances Hadden March 15, 2020 at 1:33 pm #

    Our library is a wonderful resource and one which I use a lot. It is understandable that these precautions need to be taken.
    Thank you to all the librarians and staff who make this resource available.

  2. Avatar
    D. Moss March 15, 2020 at 2:20 pm #

    Good decision.

  3. Avatar
    Janet Devore March 15, 2020 at 2:43 pm #

    What about interlibrary books coming due this month

    • Avatar
      Sarah Dooley March 18, 2020 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Janet – same as for other items – you can just hang on to them for now.

      Thanks!
      Sarah

  4. Avatar
    Jeanette Smith March 15, 2020 at 5:07 pm #

    The decision to close have been announced rather late on March 15th since I was at the North Durham branch until between 5:30 and 5:45 that day and nothing was said or posted. Therefore I wasted my time and gasoline going to the library on the 16th only to find it closed. I am NOT happy!

  5. Avatar
    Evangeline McDaniel March 15, 2020 at 6:15 pm #

    I have a DVD on hold that has to be picked up by March 19, 2020. Is there a way I can get my DVD?
    If I can’t get it, will it be available when the liberary reopens?

    • Avatar
      Sarah Dooley March 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Evangeline – sorry, but items are not available for pickup right now. We’re extending all current holds, and they shuld be available when the library reopens.

      Thanks!
      Sarah

  6. Avatar
    Jeanette Smith March 15, 2020 at 10:28 pm #

    I may have given incorrect dates in my earlier reply/comment. I was at the North Durham Branch on Saturday, March 14th until between 5:30 and 5:45 when the only information regarded cancellation of meetings, etc, with notation that the branches would be open regular hours for regular services. When I made a special trip to the North Durham branch on Sunday, March 15th, is when I discovered its closure until further notice. I understand your website had NOT BEEN UPDATED Sunday morning either which resulted in additional unnecessary trips thereto by additional library patrons. I feel that is very poor administrativery oversight of Durham County public facilities.

    • Avatar
      Sarah Dooley March 18, 2020 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Jeanette – our apologies for the inconvenience. The decision to close was made late Sunday morning, and the library worked to get the information out as quickly as possible after that.

      Best,
      Sarah

  7. Avatar
    Sarah March 16, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

    Hello-
    Does the suspension of fines include inter library loan books? I have one that is due 18 March.

    Thanks in advance!

    Sincerely-
    Sarah

    • Avatar
      Sarah Dooley March 18, 2020 at 2:03 pm #

      Hi Sarah! Yep, you can just hang on to those ILL items for now.

      Thanks!
      Sarah

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