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Library Reopening Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Main Library and the four regional libraries—Highlands, Pablo Creek, Southeast and Webb Wesconnett—now have inside hours. See Open Libraries below for details.

Library Reopening FAQ

I returned my books, DVDs or CDs but they are still not checked back into my account. Are they lost?

According to the Center for Disease Control, after 24 hours infectious agents including COVID-19 would not remain on materials (Library Journal: IMLS, CDC: On Staff Safety, Handling Paper In COVID-19 Pandemic). Jacksonville Public Library is exceeding those recommendations by quarantining returned items for at least 72 hours.

If it has been three business days or less since you returned your materials, it is most likely that they are still in quarantine. If it becomes significantly longer, please call (904) 255-BOOK (2665) to inquire about your returned items.

Please note that no overdue fines will be applied for materials returned in 2020.

Should I do anything to sanitize books, dvds and cds when I receive them or before returning them?

No. Items have been carefully handled by staff to avoid any potential contamination. After materials are returned they are being quarantined for 72 hours to allow any potential traces of COVID 19 or other infections agents to expire. (Please note that damage caused to books, dvds or cds by applying cleaning fluids to them may result in damage fees.)

How can we be sure that staff members are not infected with COVID-19?

Before entering the building, staff members will complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken. If staff report to work ill or are found to be potentially compromised, they will be sent home. While at work, staff will wear masks, wash and sanitize hands frequently, and practice social distancing. Curbside pickup of holds is a contactless process. Your safety and the safety of our staff is our priority.

What health safety precautions are in place to keep customers safe inside libraries?

In addition to temperature checks, covd screenings and mask requirement, public computers and furniture has been arranged to allow for social distancing. A telephone support system has been implemented for customers who need assistance on public computers to allow staff to maintain appropriate distance while providing support. Signage has also been placed to guide customer traffic and queues in ways that are aligned with CDC guidelines.

Are the libraries open?

The Main Library is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with special considerations made for customer and staff health and safety. Four regional libraries—Highlands, Pablo Creek, Southeast, and Webb Wesconnett—also have inside hours Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Health and safety considerations include, but are not limited to.

  • All customers and staff must submit to a touchless temperature check, complete a COVID-19 screening form and wear a mask at all times in the library.
  • The first and second floors will be open. Runners will retrieve materials from the third and fourth floors as needed.
  • Some public computers---appropriately distanced---are available on the first floor, and socially-distanced seating is in place.

Some libraries are providing curbside pickup. See above for details.

Why aren’t all the libraries open (when the Governor said they can open at 50% capacity and St. Johns and Nassau County libraries are open already)?

There are governmental, budgetary and safety issues that the library is managing. These take time and resources to coordinate and activate. We have a multi-stage plan and are working to restore service at library buildings as efficiently, effectively and safely as is practical.

  1. When the City of Jacksonville is under a state of emergency city employees that are not deemed essential to handle the emergency---including most library staff---are not cleared to work. During  shorter-term emergencies like hurricanes this makes sense, since library staff are rarely tasked with restoring power or clearing debris from streets. This longer-term emergencies like the COVID 19 pandemic are unusual.
  2. Because any work performed by city or library staff during a declared emergency carries with it additional compensation (in time or dollars), operating any level of library service added expense to the budget. The city and library are trying to preserve funds to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. 
  3. This new environment where there are ongoing safety concerns requires us to provide in-person service a little differently. For a large system like Jacksonville Public Library that serves a city of 1,000,000 people across 21 locations, that takes time to coordinate and activate.

When will other libraries be open for other services?

We do not have any dates for other library services at this time. Watch our website, emails and social media for updates.

I’ve been calling the branch and no one is answering. I thought staff was in some or all of the branches now?

At this time branch phone lines are not being answered. Please call (904) 255-2665 if you need assistance.

Which locations have curbside pickup?

PLEASE NOTE: Curbside pickup is for picking up holds by notification only. To support the efficiency of this process, we ask you please to check your email or phone for notifications of holds being ready and continue to place holds as you normally would when all locations are open, and not visit curbside locations without notification (except to return materials).

The following library locations have curbside pickup service: Argyle, Beaches, Brentwood, Dallas Graham, Highlands Regional, Regency, University Park, Pablo Creek Regional, Southeast Regional, Mandarin, South Mandarin, Webb Wesconnett Regional, West, and Willowbranch. 

What are the hours for curbside pickup?

The four regional libraries—Highlands, Pablo Creek, Southeast and Webb Wesconnett—offer curbside pickup from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Branch libraries—Argyle, Beaches, Brentwood, Dallas Graham, Mandarin, Regency, South Mandarin, University Park, West and Willowbranch—offer curbside pickup from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday and Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

How do I make an appointment to pick up my holds?

You will receive a link and instructions on making appointments in the email notification your receive, or when you receive a phone notification.

Do I need to have an appointment to pick up my holds even if I got a notification that they are ready?

No, you don’t need an appointment. However—like when visiting a busy restaurant—making a reservation for library curbside pickup will result in a better and faster experience. If you do not have an appointment, follow the “No Appointment” signs in the parking lot and follow the instructions on the sign to retrieve your holds.

Can I pick up my holds at any of the curbside service locations?

Not unless otherwise invited to do so by the library. You may receive a call from a Jacksonville Public Library staff member or an email inviting you to have your hold relocated to an open curbside location. Otherwise, please plan to pick up your held item at the library listed in your notification.

Can I pick up a hold if I haven’t received a notification?

No. You will not be able to pick up your hold until the library staff prepare it and send the notice (text or email).  To ensure that we can provide you and your fellow library cardholders with the best possible experience, please do not attempt to pick up holds before you have been notified that they are ready.

I don’t want my held item anymore. Can I cancel it?

Yes. Please call (904) 255-2665 and we’ll cancel it for you.

Will my library be getting curbside hold pickup service soon?

While we are expecting to expand curbside pickup service, there are no dates for additional curbside hold locations. Watch our website, emails and social media for updates.

Will curbside pickup be available in the future?

There have been no decisions about curbside service in the future. This is a valuable step to return to providing library service while there are safety concerns about the pandemic.

Can I return my books, DVDs and/or CDs?

Yes. You can return materials to any one of the library’s 21 locations. They do not have to be returned to the same location you borrowed them from.

I returned a book but it still says it’s checked out. Is it lost? What happened?

We’re quarantining books, DVDs and CDs for 72 hours after they’re returned (exceeding CDC recommendations) for safe handling of materials. Therefore, books you’ve returned may not be checked back in yet. Please know that you will not receive overdue fines for any materials you return by December 31, 2020.

Will I have overdue fines on materials?

No. Thanks to Mayor Curry, the City Council and the Board of Library Trustees, all current overdue fines have been waived , and no new overdue fines will be applied through December 31, 2020. 

Why did the Library decide to go fine free?

The City of Jacksonville put overdue fine relief into Ordinance 2020-235 designed to help the economy during the COVID 19 pandemic. The Board of Library Trustees saw that as an opportunity to increase people’s access to the Library and on May 21, 2020 extended this relief through the end of 2020.

Will this continue after 2020?

There are no plans at this time to extend this beyond 2020. The Board of Library Trustees will monitor how this measure performs and make decisions as appropriate.

Do I still have to bring materials that I borrow back?

Yes. Fine free doesn't waive responsibility. The library is still a place where people share access to a collection of more than 2 million items, so borrowing will still have due dates and renewal limits as always to keep things circulating. Items will be considered lost after the final due date, and the library will use a recovery processes to retrieve the material or its replacement cost, which includes fees associated with the recovery. Libraries that have gone fine free have not seen decreases in circulation due to lack of material returns.

I have a book, CD or DVD that’s long overdue. Should I bring it back? 

Yes, PLEASE! We would love to recover any materials that you may have been holding onto because of overdue fines. Take advantage of this overdue fine free period and bring anything back before December 31, 2020 no matter how long you've had it. Bring to any Jacksonville Public Library location and put it in the book drop or drop it off inside – no questions asked! (But if you do have a good story, we’d love to hear it!)

A fee was placed on my account or was not removed from my account. I thought there were no fines?

If an item you had was either lost, damaged or not returned, you may incur fees. Fees have not been waived (only overdue fines) as they are needed to maintain or replace library materials so others can borrow them .  If you return the long overdue item before December 31, 2020, no overdue fines will be charged  . (All fees already on your account related to lost, damaged or unreturned items will remain in place. Call us at (904) 255-2665 with questions.)

I already paid the fee for losing an item and now I found it and want to return it. Will I be able to get a refund for the lost fee?

No. The fees collected for lost items are put into the library's collection budget and the fee is cleared from your account. This was approved as part of the Library's Circulation Policy on August 22, 2019 by the Board of Library Trustees.

Will I still receive reminders about due dates?

Yes. You will still receive reminders as you always have. If you’re notified by email, you’ll receive an email 3 days before an item is due, and 7 days and 21 days after the due date if the item has not been returned. If the item is not returned after 42 days the replacement cost of the item and a $5 processing fee are added to your account. If you do not receive email notices from us, you will receive an overdue notice in the mail after the item is 21 days overdue and the lost bill after 42 days.

What if something is marked as lost (not returned after 42 days past the due date) and I find it and return it?

The processing fee and replacement cost will be removed from your account.  No overdue fines will be charged. If it has been longer than 63 days overdue and has been sent to collections, a collection agency fee may apply.

What will happen to future projects that might have been funded by overdue fines?

Funding will be assigned and collected for projects from other sources. There were no specific projects that were significantly impacted by this change. 

Why would the library give up this income?

Overdue fines limit access to library materials and services for customers, especially the most vulnerable families and individuals. Any potential benefit to the Library is far outweighed by the greater access and lower administrative costs of removing this barrier.  


I have books to donate. Where and when can I drop them off?

At this time the library is not accepting donated materials. Thank you. Stay tuned for updates.

I have Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials. Can I return those now?

Yes, Materials borrowed via interlibrary loan can be returned to any branch via the bookdrop.   If you have questions, please call (904) 255-2665.

I requested a book through Interlibrary Loan. Can I pick it up now?

No. Interlibrary Loan is currently unavailable. Stay tuned to our website, emails and social media for updates. 

I use Talking Books to get my books. Can I start receiving those now?

Yes. You can contact the Talking Books Library at 904-255-2665 when prompted select option 2 and staff can direct you to staff in the TBKS Library.

Hours M-F 10-6pm

Jacksonville Public Library