Library Changes Due to COVID-19


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.

Books and other items: Our book drops are closed. Please keep any library items you currently have checked out until the libraries re-open. No fines or fees will accrue during this time. If you do receive an overdue notice, please disregard it. 

Pilot of Limited No-Contact Curbside Pickup added at Salem Public Library at Broadway: Salem Public Library is beginning a limited, pilot project this week, arranging by-appointment-only, no-contact pickup of the holds that were already on the shelves when the libraries closed in March due to COVID-19.

Staff will contact Salem patrons who have been waiting for the holds from Salem Public Library at Broadway and the West Salem Branch. Cardholders from within the Salem city limits will be offered a chance to make an appointment to pick up their holds in sealed, marked bags from an area outside Salem Public Library at Broadway, 1400 Broadway NE. No pickups will be available at the West Salem Branch.

Returns will not be accepted at either library during this pilot. The due dates on all library items have been moved to July 1. No fines are accruing on checked out items.

This is the first step toward resuming limited library service. Information on next steps will be shared as they become available.

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 is still available as much as possible during business hours. There are three ways you can reach us if you need information or assistance during the closure. Phone service is currently unavailable.

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 are incredibly grateful for your continued support and patience as we work to follow best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19," said City Librarian Sarah Strahl. "The decision to close the buildings has been difficult and will have an impact on people who benefit from our services. We also understand that by closing we can be part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19."

We look forward to serving you again in person once the COVID-19 risk has subsided.

Frequently asked questions

What about my books on hold? Can I come pick them up?

Unfortunately we can't offer any hold pickups during the closure. Your available holds will still be here when we re-open, and you will not lose your place in line for items you have requested. You can still place and check out holds on digital materials.

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

If you do not have your library card number, please email or chat with us. 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: 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: 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:

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: 

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.