Hours and FAQs
Welcome back! Starting Monday, June 15, Holds Pickup will be Available.
- Monday through Thursday - 12:00 - 7:00 p.m.
- Friday through Sunday -12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Central Library Auditorium
1015 N Quincy St
Arlington VA 22201
- Central Library will be closed - Friday, July 3 - Saturday, July 4 for Independence Day, and Tuesday, June 23 and July 7 for voting.
- Current Holds Start June 15 - All patrons with a hold currently ready for pickup (since before the closure) may pick up their hold. All holds ready for pickup have been moved to Central Library. Holds will be held for 10 days. If you do not wish to collect your hold you do not need to contact the library; all holds will be automatically reshelved after 10 days.
- New Holds Start June 18, by Noon - Patrons who do not have online access may place holds by calling 703-228-5990.
The following plans and procedures are tentative and will be adjusted as necessary. Please check back often for updates.
Q. What Library services will be available starting Monday, June 15?
- Holds pickup: In the Central Library Auditorium
- Basic account services: Sign up for a library card, renew library cards, update temporary library cards and update mailing address
Q. What safety measures will be in place?
- All patrons and staff must maintain six foot social distancing requirements.
- All patrons and staff must wear masks.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for patrons entering and leaving Central Library.
- Service points will have sneeze-guard partitions
- Frequent cleaning and deep cleaning of staff and public spaces
- Restrooms will not be available to the public
Q. What parking will be available?
Please park in the surface parking lots at Central Library. The parking garage is currently closed to the public.
Holds Pickup and Services
Q. What is the process for holds pickup?
Patrons will line up at six-foot intervals outside library entrance closest to the tennis courts / surface parking lot. Access to the auditorium will be metered. Once inside the auditorium, three service stations will be available. Library staff will retrieve your holds, check them out to you, and pass them to you with no/limited contact. Patrons will exit across the Auditorium, through the doors onto the garden porch and walk down the pathway to the parking lot.
Restrooms will not be available to the public.
Q. What is the process for account services?
Basic account services such as applying for and renewing library cards can be handled at the auditorium service points. The process is the same as for holds pickup.
Q. Will the library limit the size of families/groups?
When possible, please send one household member to retrieve holds. Please bring the associated library card for any holds you are picking up. You may also use the library app to manage all the accounts from one household, and to access digital library cards for each account.
Q. I have a condition that prevents me from standing in line. How can I get my holds?
If you are in need of accessibility accommodation, you can schedule your holds pickup by calling the Library at 703-228-5990.
Q. How long will my holds remain at Central for pickup once I am notified that they are available?
Until further notice, holds will remain on the shelf for 10 days.
Q. I currently have a hold on my account that is ready for pickup (on the hold shelf since before the closure). How can I receive it?
All holds that were ready for pickup prior to the closure have been moved to the Auditorium at Central Library. These holds will be available for pickup on June 15 and will be held for 10 days. If you do not wish to collect your hold you do not need to contact the library; all holds will be automatically reshelved after 10 days.
Q. What about the holds on my account that are not yet ready?
All holds placed before June 15 have been frozen, and as of June 22 the pickup location has been changed to Central (the only available location). Frozen holds keep their place in line but do not come ready.
To receive your holds at Central, log into your account and click on "thaw" next to each item that you are ready to receive.
You may also cancel any holds you no longer want or need.
Q. I thawed my holds, and now I'm number 1 for a number of items that had long wait times... What happened?
After thawing your holds, your placement in line for each item will fluctuate as other patrons with holds on the same titles thaw or freeze their holds.
Q. I have holds that were previously set for pick up at a location besides Central Library.
As of June 22, all holds set to pick up at other locations have been set to Central Library. To receive these holds, log into your account and click on "thaw" next to each item that you are ready to receive.
If you do not wish to pick up your holds at Central Library, you may cancel them or keep them frozen (frozen holds keep their place in line) until your preferred location reopens for pickup service. At that time you will need to thaw the hold.
When you place a new hold, only Central Library will be an option for holds pick up until Branch locations reopen for holds pickup.
Q. How long will it take for my holds to come in?
There will be a delay in filling many holds as all returned Library materials will be quarantined upon return for 72 hours.
Q. How many holds can I have on my account?
You can have as many as 30 holds at a time in any status (ready, frozen, not ready, etc.).
Q. How can I return Library materials?
Please do not rush to return materials! Library materials must be quarantined upon return, and the Library does not have space to receive all the returns at once. Due dates for materials checked out before the closure have been staggered throughout the summer to avoid overloading return bins.
Beginning Monday, June 15, you can begin to return Library materials to the exterior book drops at Central Library and all Branch Library locations. All library materials can now be returned in the bookdrop including DVDs, games, dolls, etc.
Returns will not be accepted in the Central Library Auditorium.
Q. What is the disinfectant process for Library materials?
Library materials will be set aside for 72 hours before being processed. Library staff will practice appropriate safety procedures as laid out by County health officials, and may adjust procedures based on the latest research and guidance.
You may opt to set aside library materials for 72 hours after you receive them.
Fines and Fees
Q. Am I accruing overdue fees on materials I checked out before the closure?
All due dates on material checked out before June 15 have been extended to July 1, 2020 or later. Due dates have been staggered over the summer to avoid a rush of returns. Please check your account for specific due dates. No daily overdue fees will accrue on these materials.
Q. How can I pay fines and fees I owe?
Fine payment is not available online or at Central Library at this time. If your card is blocked due to overdue fines, please contact us.
Q. Is the Library going “Fine Free”?
Daily library overdue fees were eliminated in the FY21 Arlington County Budget. No new daily overdue fees will accrue after July 1, 2020. Lost material fees and other service fees will still apply. Overdue fees charged before July 1, 2020 will remain due on library accounts.
Q. Are you accepting book donations?
No. The Library cannot accept book donations at this time. We cannot store any donated books - please do not leave them at any library location.
Q. I’d like to volunteer at the Library.
The Library is unable to accommodate volunteers during this phase of reopening. We will welcome our volunteers back as soon as we can safely do so.
Q. When will the Library fully reopen?
The safety of our staff and patrons is our primary concern. Arlington Public Library does not currently have a timeline for reopening to other services. The Library will work closely with Arlington County leadership and medical authorities to evaluate the ongoing situation. Please stay tuned, we will announce when we are able to safely open additional library services. We thank patrons for their patience as we work to safely reopen our library system.
Did we forget something? Let us know in the comments.