Central Library is currently open for holds pickup and account services, and all Branch Library book drops, except Columbia Pike, are open for returns. It is not currently possible to safely open the Library for business as usual.
Our virtual services continue to expand, and many scenarios are being considered as we look into fall and winter.
- 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 addresses.
- Returns: at all Library locations except for Columbia Pike, in the book returns.
Accessibility pickup is available for patrons with a physical accessibility issue that prevents them from using our normal holds-only service model.
If you are in need of accessibility accommodation, you can schedule your holds pickup by calling the Library at 703-228-5990.
- All patrons and staff must maintain six-foot social distancing requirements.
- All patrons and staff must wear masks.
- Hand sanitizer is available for patrons entering and leaving Central Library.
- Service points have sneeze-guard partitions.
- Frequent cleaning and deep cleaning of staff and public spaces
- Restrooms are not available to the public
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 choose to set aside library materials for 72 hours after you receive them.
Items are “in-transit” when they have been scanned for transportation from one library location to another. Because of COVID-19 work processes, books are spending more time in-transit than normal.
Because of COVID-19 work processes, it takes extra time for your requested items to reach the hold shelves. We are unable to do shelf-checks at this time. In addition, all returned Library materials must be quarantined for 72 hours.
After thawing your holds, your place in line for each item will fluctuate as other patrons with holds on the same titles thaw or freeze their holds.
You can have 30 physical items on hold, and 10 eCollection items on hold.
Making lists in your account is a great way to keep track of more things you want to read or watch.
Central library holds pickup is in the Auditorium on the 1st floor - enter from the 10th street parking lot.
For safety reasons, we quarantine returned material for at least 72 hours. This means returned items can stay on your account for more than 4 days before we check them in. If returned items stay on your account for more than a week, please contact us.
Return all items in the exterior book drops at any Library location - except Columbia Pike, which is closed for renovation. Any material format can be returned in the book drop, including DVDs, games, dolls, etc.
Returns will not be accepted in the Auditorium at Central Library.
Library materials must be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked in. This means that your items can stay on your account for at least 4 days between when you return them, and when we are able to check them in. After the quarantine process is over, we backdate items to the date when they were returned.
If over 5 days have passed since you returned your library items, and they still remain on your account, please contact us.
For storage reasons, the Library cannot accept donations at any Library location at this time. If you have any books to donate, please hold onto them until we are able to accept donations again.
By phone at 703-228-5260, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., or by check/money order mailed to the Library at 1015 North Quincy Street, Arlington VA, 22201. Make out the check or money order to the Treasurer of Arlington County.
Please include your library card number as well.
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.