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Curbside Service

Holiday closure: Libraries will close at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, and will be closed Dec. 25, Christmas Day and Jan. 1, 2021, New Year's Day.

All three Carlsbad City Library locations offer curbside distribution of library materials put on hold.

Step 1: Library patrons can place a request for library items in the library's online catalog. Those without internet access may call library staff at 760-602-2016 or 760-434-2873 to place an item on hold.

Step 2: When the requested item becomes available, patrons will receive an email or text notification about using the drive-up service to pick up holds Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Library Returns
Our library book returns are now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We welcome the return of your materials so we may make them available for others. For health and safety, items will not be checked in and removed from a patron's account for at least seven days due to quarantine.

Curbside service infographic

COVID-19 and library materials study (July) and study (August)

Questions and Answers

How does curbside service work?

  • Place an item on hold in the library's online catalog, and you will be notified when your hold is available.
  • You may pick up materials during the library's drive-up service time between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • Upon arrival, please follow directional signage to designated curbside parking.
  • Call staff on the number provided at curbside, with your library card ready.
  • Please remain in your vehicle with the windows closed. You will then open your trunk or hatchback from inside your vehicle.
  • If you cannot open your trunk from within your vehicle, please let the staff member know where they should put your items, such as the hood or roof of your car.
  • Place ID or library card against the driver’s window so staff can verify your identity.
  • Staff will bring library items to your car.
  • Once the staff member is clear of your vehicle, you are free to leave.
  • If you have materials to return, please place them in the library book returns. For health and safety, items will not be checked in and removed from a patron's account for at least seven days due to quarantine.

Is there a limit to the number of holds I can place and items I can pick up?
You cannot place holds on more than 50 items. Staff can deliver all hold requests that are available for pickup at the scheduled curbside pickup time.

Is there a checkout limit for those with temporary cards?
Yes, the limit is two items. However, patrons with temporary cards have the same checkout privileges for eResources (eBooks and eAudiobooks) as those with permanent cards.

Can I pick up items for someone else?
If you have the library card associated with the hold, then those holds can be picked up for someone else.

How do I return materials?
Library book returns in the parking lot are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We welcome the return of your materials so we may make them available for others. For health and safety, items will not be checked in and removed from a patron's account for at least seven days due to quarantine.

When are my items due? 
All due dates have currently been extended until March 31, 2021.

Will I be fined if I haven't been able to return items during the closure?
No fines are currently being accrued for items due between March 15, 2020 – March 31, 2021. Fines that were assessed before March 15, 2020 will remain on the account. Fines and fees will begin accruing again at 5 p.m. on March 31, 2021.

Are you going to sanitize my items before I pick them up?
All items will be quarantined for at least seven days before being checked in and then cleared from customer accounts. They will then be available to fill new holds. Items currently on the shelves have been quarantined during the closure and are considered safe for check out. Read a July and August study about library materials and COVID-19, conducted in partnership by the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesOCLC and Battelle.

What if I need help selecting library materials?
Our staff is available to provide recommendations on items available in our collection. For assistance, you may email librarian@carlsbadca.gov or call 760-434-2871 or 760-602-2038.

Can I donate books and other materials?
Books and material donations are not being accepted until further notice.

What if I need to talk to a staff member about my account?
Patrons are encouraged to call 760-602-2016 to speak to a staff member. Si necesita ayuda en español, por favor llama Centro de Aprendizaje a 760-931-4500.

What if I don't have transportation to the library?
There is walk up holds pick up service available between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Please call 760-602-2016 to speak to a staff member.

When will in-person programs such as storytimes and movies begin again?
The city is closely following the state and county public health orders to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Virtual programs are currently available on our website, social media and/or the city cable channel Charter Spectrum 24 and AT&T U-verse 99. In-person programming will resume when deemed safe through public health orders.