Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion public libraries will resume curbside hold pick-up

The Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 5th Avenue SE — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The public libraries in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion will resume curbside hold pick-up of library materials on Friday, May 22.

The libraries, which are part of the Metro Library Network, are currently closed to the public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are working on a “phased approach to reopening and providing in-person services,” according to Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Iowa City Public Library is also working on a staged reopening strategy that will begin with contact-free hold pick-up, ICPL director Elsworth Carman said in a post. ICPL has not announced a date yet for resuming its hold pick-up.

Libraries are able to start reopening as part of the public health proclamation that went into effect on Friday, May 15. Libraries may reopen as long as they limit the number of patrons to 50 percent capacity, increase hygiene practices and enforce additional public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission, according to the proclamation.

“We continue to monitor the situation and plan for a gradual and thoughtful reopening of our public libraries,” CRPL director Dara Schmidt said in a news release. “Our libraries are critical community resources and we look forward to being able to provide services to all of our patrons.”

All library programs and events have been canceled through June 16. Due dates on materials have also been moved to this date.

While patrons will be able to pick up new library materials, they are asked to keep previously checked-out materials for now. The libraries are working to implement public health recommendations for material sanitation.

All library materials that will be distributed have undergone a quarantine period or been disinfected.

Late last year, the three libraries voted to eliminate fines for overdue materials in an effort to better support and serve the community. This change was expected to take effect in July 2020, but that start date has been moved up due to the pandemic, Schmidt said. The elimination of fines is effective immediately.

As of June 2019, more than 16,000 patrons in the Metro Library Network have had their library cards blocked due to outstanding library fines or fees. About 12,000 of those people are in Cedar Rapids.

“That’s absolutely unacceptable,” Schmidt told Little Village in December 2019. “We’re here for the people. We want our citizens to be able to be patrons of our libraries, and they want to, too. They’ve used the library. They actively used the library, and then they were told, nope, you can’t use it anymore because of these late [fines].”

The curbside pickup will be low- to no-contact. Each library has its own hours of operation.

Cedar Rapids Public Library pick-up hours
Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
When notified that your hold is available, please visit the library and call (319) 261-7323 for instructions.

Hiawatha Public Library pick-up hours
Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
You will be notified when your hold is available. Once notified, please call (319) 393-1414 for further instructions.

Marion Public Library pick-up hours
Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
When notified your hold is available, please visit the Library and call 319.377.3412 for instructions.

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