Library Changes Due to COVID-19

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Both of Salem Public Library's current physical branches, Salem Public Library at Broadway and the West Salem Branch Library, will be closed to the public until further notice, in accordance with the Governor's policies designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Check the City's COVID-19 information center for all City service impacts.

Contactless Curbside Pickup at Salem Public Library at Broadway:

Salem Public Library now offers contactless Curbside Service, by appointment only, to Salem Public Library cardholders. While our book drops remain closed, patrons with Curbside Service appointments can also return items.

STEP 1: To begin this process, you can visit your library account to place holds on items you wish to check out:

  • On the CCRLS website
  • With the CCRLS mobile app
  • Contact staff by email at [email protected]
  • Contact staff by phone at 503-588-6315 (leave a message; we will call you back during regular business hours)

Please note that holds will generally be available more quickly if they are owned by Salem Public Library or the West Salem Branch and that are listed as currently available on the shelf. (Watch a video on finding whether an item is available.) You can place holds on items owned by other CCRLS libraries. However, please keep in mind that due to limited courier services between libraries, items may take longer to arrive. Want to see what's new at the library? Look in the New and Notables area of the online catalog.

STEP 2: Check back in your account after waiting a few days or after receiving a notice that a hold is available to pick up. (Watch a video on how to check your hold status.) Once you have placed a hold and it shows as "BEING_HELD" or has a "Pick-Up by" date, you can schedule a pickup time and day at Salem Public Library at Broadway, 1400 Broadway St. NE. Curbside service is not available at the West Salem Branch.

Books and other items: While items can be returned through scheduled curbside appointments, our book drops are closed and due dates for Salem Public Library materials have been extended. You are able to keep any library items you currently have checked out until Salem Public Library at Broadway re-opens. If you do receive an overdue notice, please disregard it. If fines or fees are added to your account for items you have checked out that belong to other Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library System (CCRLS) libraries, the fines and fees will be removed when they are checked in at Salem Public Library at a later date.

Enjoy virtual services: While in-person services and spaces are not available, library staff will continue to serve you through our Virtual Library services, available 24/7 from where you are. You can download free ebooks, audiobooks, stream movies, do research, find information, study, and more. These services require a library card and PIN number to access from home.

Contact Salem Public Library staff: Library staff are still available as much as possible during business hours. You can reach us if you need information or assistance.

We'll keep you posted: We will continue to consult with county health departments, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Centers for Disease Control for guidance about when and how we can safely reopen. We look forward to serving you again in person once the COVID-19 risk has subsided.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do about overdue items or fines on my account?

Bottom line: don't worry. When you are able to return those books and other items to Salem Public Library, they will be checked in fine-free. The due dates on your items may vary a bit right now depending on the owning library within the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library System (CCRLS). If you want to talk through your options or need help getting due dates adjusted and fines waived, reach out by email, chat, or call us at 503-588-6315. We're happy to help.

What if I want to return the books I have checked out?

At this time, returning books to Salem Public Library means signing up for our no-contact, by-appointment-only Curbside Service, which will allow you to pick up and/or return books and other items. 

What happens after I return books?

Based on recommendations from health authorities, Salem Public Library is placing all returned items in quarantine for four days before checking them in. So, when you do return an item, it will stay on your account until that four-day period is complete. At that point, they will be checked in without overdue fines and made available to other readers. 

Should I sanitize my library items before returning them to the library or wrap them in plastic? 

While we appreciate this offer, current guidelines do not recommend applying spray cleaners to library materials. We ask that patrons remove any plastic or paper bags from library items before dropping them into the return bin during your curbside visit. We also ask that patrons do not microwave or freeze library items.

How long will it take for my hold to be available?

We ask for your patience and grace as we work to connect you with library materials. There are a lot of factors affecting each hold. The CCRLS courier has started moving materials between libraries, but service is limited and we are catching up as a system from the time we were closed. Items brought in from other libraries are also quarantined for four days before processing. If you're looking for a book from another library, it may be a while before it arrives. Books on the shelf at Salem Public Library at Broadway and the West Salem Branch are usually available fairly quickly. If you would like more information about a specific hold, reach out by email, chat, or call us at 503-588-6315. We're happy to help.

When and how will Summer Reading Club rewards and prizes be available?

Pickup for Summer Reading Club bags, prize books, and drawing prizes will begin on Tuesday, August 18. All details including links to make an appointment for your pick-up time will arrive on August 13 along with information about prize drawing winners. A reminder: All prize drawing tickets need to be submitted by August 6

 What if I can't find my library card information or PIN number?

If you do not have your library card number, please email, chat, or call us at 503-588-6315. We will do our best to help you access your account!

If you have your library card number but not your PIN, please try to reset it through our online catalog. Click My Account, then Forgot My PIN. If it's been a while since you used your PIN number, it is likely the last 4 digits of your phone number. Newer PINs are longer and have both numbers and letters.

If you do not have a current card, you can sign up online for a temporary account that will work with most of our electronic resources through our catalog at: http://bit.ly/CCRLSregister. Passwords must be between 4-25 characters and contain at least one lower-case letter and one number.

What if I don't have a library card?

You can sign up online for a temporary account that will work with most of our electronic resources through our catalog at: http://bit.ly/CCRLSregister. Passwords must be between 4-25 characters and contain at least one lower-case letter and one number.

How can I read ebooks or listen to audiobooks?

Downloadable audiobooks and ebooks are available from Salem Public Library through two separate systems:

  • cloudLibrary (note: available only to patrons within the Salem city limits)
  • Library2go (also known as "Libby" and powered by Overdrive)

Patrons can check out up to six titles on each platform. The library and state consortium purchase access to individual copies of each title, just like physical books, meaning downloads are not unlimited. Available books and formats vary between the systems, so we encourage you to check both to see if the book you are looking for is available.

Children have a virtual library all their own at TumbleBooks, where they can check out animated picture books. TumbleBooks is also providing access to the following resources until August 31 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

How can I stream movies or TV shows?

You can find streaming videos, including recently run mainstream movies, art house films, documentaries and the Criterion Collection at Kanopy. Kanopy has changed its checkout limit from 5 to 10 and expanded access to credit-free titles during this time. Kanopy Kids also offers unlimited access.

What about online research?

The Salem Public Library offers current online subscriptions to meet many needs. A complete list of online resources is available at the library website: http://bit.ly/SPLonlineresources

Some key resources include:

How can I stay up-to-date on library operations during the closure?

We will post updates at the Salem Public Library website as well as our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When there are major updates, such as anticipated re-openings, we will reach out to patrons via email as well. Sign up for email updates to stay informed.

What services are available at other CCRLS libraries?

Each member library manages its own response to COVID-19. Updates will be reflected on this page: https://ccrls.org/covid19/ 

Where can I find more information about COVID-19?

Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Health Authority for more information. You can also call 211 for general information on COVID-19 in Oregon.