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Alameda County Library

We are in the process of developing a phased approach to reopening that ensures the health and safety of our communities and staff. In doing so, we are following the best available advice from our county, state, and national health officials as well as the American Library Association. We plan to share our reopening plan next month, and our website will be updated with the details of the plan. Read more

No Contact Pickup: Home

No Contact Pickup

AC Library is now offering No Contact Pickup Service. Now at more Libraries! By appointment at Albany,  Castro Valley, Centerville, Dublin, Fremont Main, Newark, San Lorenzo, and Union City Libraries.

No Contact Pickup

No Contact Pickup 

We’ve expanded online services, but we know we’re not reaching all our communities online. That’s why we started an optional service for library members through an appointment-based pickup service that provides safe access to library materials, such as books and DVDs. 

AC Library is now offering no contact pickup of library materials by appointment at the following libraries: Albany Library (510-526-3720), Castro Valley (510-667-7900), Centerville (510-795-2629), Dublin Library (925-803-7252), Fremont Main (510-745-1459), Newark (510-284-0675), San Lorenzo (510-284-0640), and Union City (510-745-1464). Visit our locations page for each library's appointment-based pickup service hours. 

As a reminder, stay home if you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms. Please note that this is an optional service and your current hold(s) will continue to be held for you until at least 2 weeks after we resume full service.  

Browse frequently asked questions for more information. If you need further assistance, library staff are here to help. Ask Us for more information.

How No Contact Pickup Works in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Place your items on hold

You can place items on hold online, by phone, or in-person by filling out a hold request form onsite. Hold request forms will be available on the No Contact Pickup table. 

Step 2: Wait for notification, then tell us when you can pick up items

When your hold is available, you’ll receive an email notification with a link to set up an appointment for pick up.

For in-person requests, complete the hold request form onsite, and call the number of the library. You’ll find the number of the library on outdoor signage. Then wait in your car until staff fulfills your request. Please note that in-person requests will be handled in between appointments.   

Step 3: Arrive at the library during your appointed pickup time

When you arrive at the library during your appointed pickup time, call the number of the library. You’ll find the number of the library on outdoor signage.

Step 4: Wait in your car until your items are placed on the pickup table and staff have returned inside the library.   

The pickup process will include no physical contact between staff and library members. Wait in your car until your items are placed on the No Contact Pickup table and staff have returned inside the building. 

Staff will check out your items and bring them out in a paper bag with your hold slip attached. Your bag will be placed on the No Contact Pickup table, located outside the library’s entrance. Outdoor signage will guide you to the No Contact Pickup table. 

For your safety and the safety of our staff, wear a face covering and stand at least 6 feet from staff and other library members. Staff will also be wearing face coverings when they place your items on the pickup table.

Step 5: Pick up your items  

Pick up your bag and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do I have to pick up my holds now?

No, this is an optional service and your current hold(s) will continue to be held for you until at least 2 weeks after we resume full service.  

What are you doing to protect the safety of library members and staff?

The following steps are being taken to ensure everyone’s safety:

  • Staff is wearing face coverings, frequently washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, and practicing social distancing.
  • The No Contact Pickup table will be disinfected multiple times a day.  
  • Preliminary research suggests that COVID-19 can only survive on surfaces for 2-3 days and on paper/cardboard for 24 hours.
  • When we receive materials, they are sitting for 96 hours before being handled.
  • We are limiting the number of staff who handle the items you have requested.
  • Disinfecting books with bleach and other cleaning products is not recommended. If you have concerns about handling items from the Library, you can simply leave them in their bags for 96 hours.

How will I know my hold items are ready for pickup?

You’ll receive an email or phone notification, based on the preference selected in your account.

How do I return materials?

We are now accepting returns during a reduced schedule. Please see our FAQ for details.

Even though we are now accepting returns, you may continue to hold on to your library materials. No items are due at this time. There are no fines on overdue materials and library due dates on all checked out items will be extended to at least two weeks after we resume full service.

Do I need a library card?

Yes, you need an Alameda County Library card to borrow physical library materials. To borrow digital resources, sign up for an eCard on our website.   

What materials are available for pickup?

Physical library materials such as books and DVDs.

What if I’m over the checkout limit?

Staff will override checkout limits.

Can I place a hold via telephone?

Yes, please contact our libraries offering no contact pickup service (Castro Valley, Fremont Main, San Lorenzo) or contact Ask Us for assistance.

When will you add more no contact pickup service locations and how were locations chosen?

AC Library will evaluate the response of our communities and potentially add more libraries to meet demand, as safety and staffing permit.

The locations were chosen based on several criteria, including: 

  • Number of existing holds
  • Geographic location
  • Size of physical collection
  • Building layout accommodates social distancing of staff
  • Building exterior features parking lots