Why does air quality affect SFPL To Go operations? Why does SFPL To Go close during heavy smoke events?
With wildfires in the surrounding areas, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in San Francisco can fluctuate between Yellow/Moderate to Red/Unhealthy, and possibly even Purple/Very Unhealthy. Because SFPL To Go is an outdoor operation, when the AQI reaches above 150/Red the Library must temporarily suspend SFPL To Go service to limit exposure to poor air quality for patrons and staff. However, bookdrops will remain open.
We recommend that you check our website and/or the AQI to verify whether or not we are open before you travel to pick up your materials. You can also call (415) 749-4900 for an air quality status update.
Will it be safe to pick up items? I’m concerned about waiting in line.
SFPL To Go has been approved by the City as meeting safe guidelines for service delivery.
We have designed a front door pick-up service where library staff and patrons will remain at least 6 feet apart. Staff will be wearing masks and gloves. Patrons will be required to wear masks and line up outside our buildings in a physically distanced manner, 6 feet apart.
Protecting health and safety is our top priority, and SFPL To Go is designed accordingly. The Library’s site-specific health and safety plans are in place that have been approved by the Office of the City Administrator.
Are the items safe to handle? Is it safe for patrons? Is it safe for staff?
Guidance on safe materials handling has been provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health.
- Your holds will be placed on a table for you to “grab and go.” You may bring a reusable bag, but per health guidelines, you may not place your bag on the table. If you need a bag, one will be provided.
- Once you arrive, you will not be allowed inside the building.
- A staff person will greet you at the door behind a table at least 6 feet distant, with a barrier.
- When staff places your items on a table, they we will move away and allow you to approach and take your items.
- When you return your items, staff will isolate them for 96 hours. Items will remain checked out to you until it’s safe for staff to handle them.
I have mobility/health issues and cannot make it to the library. How can I get materials?
You can designate a borrower to pick up your items if you are not able to come to the library.
The library has always allowed patrons to designate a borrower to pick up their library materials if they are not able to come in person. During the coronavirus pandemic, this is even more important for patrons who are in vulnerable groups and cannot safely venture out.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-557-4400 to add a designated borrower to your library account. You will need to provide your full name, library card number, date of birth, address, email and telephone number. Once you have verified yourself, staff will add the name of your designated borrower to your library account.
For SFPL To Go service, your designated borrower will need to state your last name and the last 4 digits of your library card number in order to pick up front door holds. We recommend that your designated borrower bring your library card to the pick-up.
You may also be eligible for the Library by Mail service. You can find more information at Library by Mail.
Help with Your SFPL Account
I lost my library card. Can I still get items?
SFPL staff can assist you with your account from Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and Sunday, 12–6 p.m. Contact us at 415-557-4400 or email@example.com.
Can I get a library card?
Yes, until library buildings are open to the public, residents and employees of the City and County of San Francisco and students attending City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and San Francisco State University (SFSU) may apply online for a library account that may be used to place holds, borrow items and access online resources. City and County government employees, CCSF and SFSU students should register with their work or school email. Digital access is valid through June 30, 2021. Apply online or call 415-557-4400. You will receive a response within 48 hours. No physical cards will be issued at this time. Once we open our library buildings to the public, you will be notified to come in and get a physical library card.
Can I use Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?
The library has not resumed Interlibrary Loan service at this time. You may not request items and existing requests cannot be filled. Limited assistance is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All ILL items were due on October 30, 2020. You may return any ILL items to open bookdrops. Bookdrops will be open during public service hours at the Main Library and all open SFPL To Go branch library locations. Items will be checked in and removed from your account after 96 hours.
Future Library Services
What’s next for SFPL? What services are coming?
The Library has prepared a draft plan for a phased return to full service that corresponds with the City and County of San Francisco’s health directives and easing of restrictions. All phases are contingent on SFPL’s staffing capacity, as much of our workforce is deployed as Disaster Service Workers, and on the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community.
PHASE 1: Launch of SFPL To Go
SFPL To Go enables patrons to reserve materials and pick them up at the front doors of select Library locations. Bookdrops at SFPL To Go locations are open for materials return.
PHASE 2: Limited In-Person Service at Select Library Locations
The Main Library and selected branches will reopen for limited browsing of physical materials, but with reduced hours, special hours for vulnerable patrons and limited access to stacks. Holds pick-up service is transitioned inside to a self-service model with self-checkout. Library staff at select locations continue assisting patrons with Reference and Readers Advisory through chat, phone calls, emails and limited face-to-face interactions. There will be no public seating, and access to computers and community rooms will be strictly limited and adhere to social distancing and other public health and safety requirements and may vary from location to location. No in-person public programming, only virtual.
PHASE 3: Limited Service at All Locations
Limited in-person library services are expanded to all 27 branches. Regular service hours resume at all locations with limited staffing at service desks. Specific hours for vulnerable patrons may be established. Limited in-person materials browsing and limited public computer services are provided. Seating use will be gradually reintroduced and configured based on social distancing recommendations. Additional library services may be reintroduced at library locations where physical layout can accommodate the services. Some public programming may resume with limitations on group size. Online programming continues.
PHASE 4: Resumption of Full Library Service (YIPPEE!)
Libraries return to full service; some modifications and practices from previous stages may continue based on ongoing guidelines and community needs.