COVID-19: Library Information
New Castle County Libraries are open. The following information can help guide your decision to visit the library in-person or continue using 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.
Which libraries are open and when?
Libraries are open for in-person services. Libraries are closed on Sundays. Hours are subject to change.
What services are offered in-person?
- Brief browsing of shelves
- Checkout and hold pickups
- Reference assistance
- Computers, limited to four hours per day
- Library card registration and conversion from Online Cards
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, ages kindergarten and up. Masks are 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
- 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?
- Libraries may have adjusted their entrances and exits, please follow signage.
- Libraries have adjusted their interior layouts. Some furniture has been removed in order to ensure social distance and occupancy levels are met. Libraries may be unable to offer seating areas or rooms for reading and studying. Large meeting rooms are currently unavailable.
- 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?
Most libraries have ended their curbside service 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 services can be found here.
How do I use the computers?
- Patrons may reserve a computer; 4 hours use per day.
- Computer time will not be extended beyond 4 hours.
- 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 the keyboard, computer mouse, and table and chair before and after use.
Can I copy, print, scan, and fax?
- Public printing is available.
- Scanning may be available at select branches, contact your local branch for additional information.
- Faxing and photocopying may not be available.
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?
Yes, you can now return items inside the building.
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.
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! Visit our 3D printing page 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:
- Libby/Overdrive - Borrow eBooks and Audiobooks
- hoopla - Stream videos, TV shows, and music or borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks. No wait times
- Flipster - Read magazines online
- Access research databases
- Transparent Language - Learn over 127 languages
- Learning Express – Test prep materials and courses to help build core skills such as writing, math, and public speaking.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.