COVID-19: Library Information

Image of three people wearing masks, holding a sign that reads, "COVID-Library-Updates-and-Servic

New Castle County Libraries will soon be opening in a limited capacity, alternating in-person and curbside services. The following information can help guide your decision to visit the library in-person or continue using Curbside services and digital resources. Just like any public space, entering and using library facilities is a personal decision and at your own risk. Please have one person per family come in to browse for items or use computers to the extent that it is possible.

En español

Which libraries are open and when?

Libraries will soon be open for in-person services select days. On the days libraries are not offering in-person services, patrons can continue to take advantage of Curbside Pickup service and digital resources. Libraries are closed on Sundays. A complete list of library hours is coming soon. Please check back or call your local library. 

What services are offered in-person?

  • Brief browsing of new books, audiobooks and DVDs, as well as special displays
  • Checkout and hold pickups
  • Questions and limited assistance from librarians
  • Computers, limited to one 45-minute session per day
  • Printing
  • Library card registration and conversion from Online Cards
  • Free WiFi in all parking lots

What are the safety requirements for visiting the library?

  • If you feel ill (cough, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, vomiting or diarrhea, loss of taste or smell), have a temperature greater than 99.5°, or have recently been in close contact (15 minutes or more) with someone who has tested positive for COVID, do not visit the library.
  • Masks are required by everyone over the age of 2. Masks required at all times and must cover the nose and mouth. 
  • Patrons must maintain a distance of 6’ from other users.
  • Visits should be brief; 45 minutes for patrons using a computer and 20 minutes for patrons browsing to check out items.
  • Building capacity is limited. If occupancy levels have been reached, there will be a wait before more patrons are allowed to enter the building. 
  • Do not eat or drink in the library.

What should I expect when I visit the library?

  • When you arrive at the library, a security guard or library staff member will greet you. 
  • Libraries may have adjusted their entrances and exits, please follow signage.
  • If you need to return items, use the exterior book drops. Staff will not accept returned items at the checkout desk.
  • Libraries have adjusted their interior layouts. Stacks are closed and furniture has been removed in order to ensure social distance and occupancy levels are met. Libraries are unable to offer seating areas or rooms for reading and studying. 
  • The book stacks are closed and patrons will only be able to browse our collection of new items or special displays. 
  • If you would like an item from the stacks, staff will retrieve up to three items for you. You may also ask reference staff to put up to five items on hold for you.
  • Catalog computers may not be available to use. 
  • Wi-Fi is only available in the parking lot; patrons may not stay in building to access Wi-Fi on personal devices. 
  • Hand-sanitizer is available throughout the library. We ask you to use the sanitizer when entering and leaving the building and before and after using the computers.

Are you still offering Curbside Services?

Libraries will continue to offer curbside pickup of items and printed documents on select days and times. A complete list of curbside and in-person service hours is coming soon. Please check back.

How do I use the computers?

  • Patrons may reserve a computer for one 45-minute session per day. 
  • Call your local library up to 7 days ahead of time to reserve a computer. Please have your library card ready when you call. 
  • Computer time will not be extended. 
  • If you are 20 minutes or more late to your appointment time, your reservation may be canceled. 
  • Library staff may provide only limited assistance from a distance of 6 feet.
  • Please use the provided hand-sanitizer before and after using the computer.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean keyboard, computer mouse, and table and chair before and after use.

Can I copy, print, scan and fax?

  • The libraries will print up to 20 pages (black and white) per day free of charge. 
  • Scanning may be available at select branches, contact your local branch for additional information.
  • Faxing and photocopying may not be available. 
  • Patrons can also continue to use our curbside printing service (en español) on the days the library is not open to the public. 

What cleaning protocols are in place?

In accordance with CDC and local Health Department Guidance, libraries will clean high touch areas throughout the day. Library bathrooms and public areas will be cleaned at midday. Just like any public space, entering and using library facilities is a personal decision and at your own risk.

Can I pay my fine?

Currently there are no overdue fines. If you have a fine for a lost or damaged item, you may pay that with a check, credit card, or cash.

Can I return items inside the building?

If you need to return items, use the exterior book drops. Staff will not accept returned items at the checkout desk.

I returned items but they are still listed on my account. Why?

Libraries are quarantining items for at least 72 hours. After the quarantine, items are checked in and backdated to their return date. You will not be fined. 

Can I donate books to the library?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept book donations at any library location. Please do not leave donations on the curbside pickup table, and do not place donations in the book drops. We will gladly accept donations once again in the future and will make that announcement when ready.

3D Printing:

Our 3D printer is available for your requests! Patrons can still send in their 3D print files to the Appoquinimink, Hockessin, Kirkwood, Newark, or Route 9 Library to be printed! Fill out a quick form and email your .stl file. When the print is ready, the library will contact you and set up a time to pick up your object through the library’s curbside service. Contact your local library for additional information.

Additional Library Information:

Are there library resources I can access online?
Yes. New Castle County Libraries provide a wide variety of digital services and resources:

Are you offering any programs online?
Yes. New Castle County Libraries are streaming several programs using Facebook and Zoom. Visit our online calendar to see a complete list of all virtual programs being offered, both in New Castle County and throughout the state. We will continue to add to this calendar as new programs are confirmed.

Book Bundles:
Finished a great book but aren’t sure what to read next? Want to get books for your kids but aren’t sure what to ask for? Don’t have time to search the library catalog for that perfect pick? New Castle County Libraries can help with their new Book Bundles service. Call or visit the library’s website to fill out a quick form to let library staff what format, topic, genre and/or reading level you’re looking for. Library staff will pull together a selection of 5-10 books for you. The items in the Book Bundle will be checked out to your account and can be picked up with the library’s curbside service.

I don’t have a library card. How can I get one?
You can sign up online for a temporary library card.

My library card is expiring; can I renew it?
Yes. Visit our catalog, log into your account, and you will be prompted to renew your card. If you experience difficulties, contact your local library or visit Ask a Librarian Delaware for help.

What if I have a library question?
You can contact your local library by phone or visit Ask a Librarian Delaware to ask a librarian your question.

Can I still access Wi-Fi?
In addition to Wi-Fi in the libraries’ parking lots, New Castle County, in partnership with Verizon, Assurance Media, and Cisco-Meraki, is providing Wi-Fi hotspots. Users should remain in their vehicles while using the Wi-Fi hotspots. For more information, and a complete list of hotspots visit: https://www.newcastlede.gov/2015/Public-WIFI

What You Can Do to Keep Yourself and the Community Healthy

  • Stay home as much as possible. Only go out for essential needs (or if you’re an essential worker).
  • If someone is sick in your household, have them isolate to one room, and ideally have them use a separate bathroom.
  • Clean frequently used surfaces regularly.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water many times a day. Use hand sanitizer that is 60–90% alcohol-based.
  • Cover your cough with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Do not touch your face.
  • Wipe down frequently used objects like your phone with an alcohol-based wipe.
  • To help reduce the curve of coronavirus, stay at home whenever possible. If you do go out for an approved activity (things like going to the grocery store, pharmacy, picking up take out, or if you are an essential worker), be sure to maintain at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people. Wash your hands when you return home.
  • If you are not feeling well or experiencing flu-like symptoms. Contact your doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, contact the Division of Public Health Call Center, 866-408-1899 or email DPHcall@delaware.gov.

COVID-19 and Health Information:

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services: COVID-19
Review FAQs, press releases, and other information related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Delaware.

Center for Disease Control
FAQs and detailed information related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

National Library of Medicine
Medical literature on COVID-19.

Delaware LibGuide: COVID-19
Provides links to additional information are available resources.

Other Information:

Tax Filing Deadlines - The deadline to file your taxes has been moved to May 17.