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Durham County Library COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, Durham County Library locations are currently open for limited services only. Our regional (East, North, South, and Southwest) and branch (Bragtown and Stanford L. Warren) libraries are available for one-hour walk-in visits. Main Library is currently open for hold pickup by appointment only.


Walk-in hours at regional and branch libraries

Durham County Regional (East, North, South, and Southwest) and Branch (Bragtown and Stanford L. Warren) Libraries are now open for one-hour walk-in visits to browse and check out items or to use the computers. The walk-in hours are:

Tuesday 2–6 p.m.
Wednesday 2–6 p.m.
Thursday 3–7 p.m.
Friday 2–6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday

During our walk-in hours, a limited number of people are allowed in the library at a time. Per Durham County Government, anyone entering the library will be required to:

  • Answer screening questions;
  • Have their temperature checked;
  • Wear a mask (age 2+); and
  • Practice physical distancing.

For safety, the library’s service philosophy currently focuses on access rather than assistance. Open hours are primarily an opportunity to browse the collection, select items to check out, and use the computers. Library staff can provide limited assistance with issuing library cards, checking out materials, and accessing computers. We are unable to offer the following services at this time:

  • Meeting and study rooms
  • In-person programming
  • Friends of the Durham Library book sales
  • Receiving donated books
  • One-on-one computer assistance or other help that requires close physical proximity (less than six feet) to customers
  • Water fountain access

If you want to request items to pick up at these locations, you can still do that by placing a hold online. Your item(s) will be delivered to the pickup location you choose and kept for you on the holds shelf. Once it’s there, you’ll be notified that it’s ready for pickup, and you can come get it during our walk-in hours.


Library Take-Out!

Through Library Take-Out!, you can place holds on books, DVDs, and CDs, and schedule a time to pick them up at the library when they’re available.

Library Take-Out! is currently only offered at Main Library. At any of our other locations, you can still request items by placing them on hold, but you will pick them up during our walk-in hours once you are notified that your hold is ready. You don’t need an appointment at those locations.

Here’s how Library Take-Out! 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. Make sure to select Main Library as your pickup location.
  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

We have 24/7 book return options – 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 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.

Special cases

You can now bring back your interlibrary loan (ILL) items during our walk-in hours. Contact the location from which you borrowed your item(s) if you have questions.

The Friends of the Durham Library are now accepting book donations at their new location – see the Friends of the Durham Library website for more information. We are currently unable to accept donations at any Durham County Library location.


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.

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 for 60 days – after that, you’ll need to come in to make your card permanent. Learn more, or sign up for a temporary online card.

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! The safety of staff and patrons is our top priority as we continue expanding the services we offer. We will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available. Please get in touch if there’s anything we can help with.

-Your family at the Durham County Library

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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