Schedule Contactless Pickup?

What is Contactless Pickup?

Starting July 6, you can request limited library materials for contactless pickup. Only items that are on hold for you are available to pick up.

Library staff will be wearing masks when they prepare your bag, as well as when they place it outside for you to pick up.

How does it work?

NOTE: These instructions cover all of our locations.

  • Step 1: Put items on hold using your Minuteman Account.
  • Step 2: Wait for an email or phone call that your items are on hold and ready to be picked up.
  • Step 3: Schedule your pickup appointment by using our online appointment system or by calling our Reference Department at (617) 623-5000 x2955.
  • Step 4: On the date/time of your appointment, come to the Front Entrance Door of the library and knock (or call) to receive your materials. (At West @ Tab, this is outside door to the building, not the interior door to the temporary library space.)
    • Per City mandate, please wear a face covering when you come to the library.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I just requested a book. Can I come to the library?
    • You may pick up only AFTER receiving a notice from the Library that your items are ready, and after scheduling a pickup appointment. Please come to the library on your scheduled day and time.
  • How long will it take to get my item?
    • At first, we will be filling holds that were placed while the libraries have been closed. After that, we will only be able to fulfill holds on Somerville items that are currently in the building. This may result in a delay or limited availability of placed holds. But if the item you want is in the building, we should be able to process it fairly quickly.
  • I got an email, so can I come by at any time?
    • You first need to schedule a pickup appointment. See Step 3 above.
    • Pickup hours are
      • Monday – Friday from 9:30am – 12:30pm, and 2:30 – 5:30pm
      • Saturdays from 9:30am – 12:30pm
  • How does pickup work?
    • When you arrive at the library:
      • At the Central Library, call Circulation (617) 623-5000 x2900 or knock on the Front Entrance Door.
      • At the East Branch, call (617) 623-5000 x2970 or knock on the Front Entrance Door, and wait for a staff member to come to the door.
      • At West, a staff member should be waiting outside. If not, knock loudly on the second set of doors and wait for a staff member to come downstairs. If you need to call, the phone number is (617) 623-5000 x2975.
    • We do ask that you wear a mask, even though you are not coming into the building, as other people may be near. Patrons without masks cannot be served.
    • Please then wait in the designated Waiting Area while the staff member retrieves your items.
    • Your bag will be placed on a table outside the door. Once the staff member is back inside the building, you may come forward and pick it up.
  • When will my items be due?
    • There will be a due date on your receipt, but we are not charging fines on late returns for the foreseeable future. 
  • May I come into the library to browse or use a computer?
    • For health and safety reasons, we are not able to welcome patrons into the building at this time.
  • I have books to return. Can someone take them for me?
    • All returns – whether books, CDs, or DVDs – should go in our book drops, which remain open 24/7. We will be emptying them on a regular basis, and there are no late fees for the foreseeable future.
    • The book drop at West @ TAB is currently closed; items may be returned to a staff member during scheduled pickup hours only (Monday-Friday: 9:30am - 12:30pm and 2:15pm - 5:45pm).