After Harvey: Frequently Asked Questions

HCPL Harvey FAQs

I could not return my library materials because I could not reach the library due to high water. Am I still responsible for the late fees? 

If you return your books by September 15, you will not accrue late fees.

Where do I return my books if my branch is closed for repairs.

You can return your books to any of the other open HCPL branches

Please do not return any materials to the following branches until further notice:

Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library | 22248 Aldine Westfield Road | Humble TX 77338
Barbara Bush Branch Library | 6817 Cypresswood Drive | Cypresswood TX 77379
Katherine Tyra – Bear Creek Branch Library | 16719 Clay Road | Houston TX 77084
Kingwood Branch Library | 4400 Bens View Lane | Kingwood Texas, 77339 

If you have materials checked out from any of the above branches, you can return them to any one of the HCPL branches that are now open. HCPL Locations | Map

My house flooded and all of my library books were damaged. Will I be charged damage fees?

No, you will not be charged.

Should I return damaged books? 

No. Please do NOT return damaged books. Please call any open HCPL branch. We will remove all damaged materials from your account. Dispose of damaged items appropriately.

I was not able to pick up my holds before Harvey hit, now they have expired. Do I lose my place in the queue. 

We have extended the time in which you have to pick up your materials until Friday, September 15, so your holds have not yet expired. If your pick up location is one of the HCPL branches that has reopened, you can pick up your holds there until then. 

My Holds pick up location has not reopened. What will happen to my holds?

The materials on the hold shelves at the four branches that remain closed--Baldwin Boettcher, Barbara Bush, Katherine Tyra-Bear Creek & Kingwood--could not be salvaged. We have put you back at the top of the queue and you can pick up your holds at your new pick-up location. See table below.

Closed Location New Pick-up Location
Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library Octavia Fields Branch Library
Barbara Bush Branch Library Northwest Branch Library
Katherine Tyra Branch Library Katy Branch Library
Kingwood Branch Library Atascocita Branch Library

Did I lose my place in the queue?!

No! We put back up at the top of the line.

What if there is another open HCPL branch that is more convenient for me than the one in the table?

If that is the case, you can change your pick up location in the preferences section of My Account to your preferred open branch. However, if your holds have already been sent to the assigned library in the table, you should call that library and ask that they be sent to your preferred library. Locations | Map

I could not pick up my Interlibrary Loan because the library was closed. What will happen? 

For those who were unable to pick up ILL materials due to library closures, HCPL staff will contact lenders to request loan period extensions. Decisions about extensions are made by individual lending libraries on an item-by-item basis. Harris County Public Library is obligated to abide by them. You will receive notification if you loan period has been extended. Otherwise, the original return date still applies.

My ILL location is still closed. Where do I pick up and return my materials?

See the new pick-up location table above.

My favorite library is closed for repairs. I want to donate some used books. Can I just drop them off?

We are very grateful to you, but please do not drop off books at any of the closed libraries. With all the remediation and repairs, there is nowhere to store them. If you want to help your library please see our Together, We Will blog. It talks about the most effective ways you can help your library.   

I want to help my library to reopen as quickly as possible, but I do not know the best way to do that. 

We cannot say it too many times: we are touched and humbled by your generosity. We have posted a blog, Together, We Will, that answers just that question, as well as reminding you all that we have lots of resources and staff to help everyone who are themselves working to get homes and lives back to normal after Harvey.

Comments

Good vibes for hcpl, I hope

Good vibes for hcpl, I hope BB is rebuilt on stilts this time after this as it was just renovated a year ago. Thank you for keeping us posted and informed. I'll eagerly await any branch reopening near spring. Until then, I found an open location for returning what I have checked out.

Thanks so muh for your good

Thanks so muh for your good thoughts! Our staff at your new branch will do everything they can to make you feel at home until your branch reopens.

I have an interlibrary loan

I have an interlibrary loan book that will need to be returned soon. Will this be due to another location by Sept 15th or the date on the book itself? Thanks!

As it says above, if you have

As it says above, if you have an interlibrary loan that you picked up from one of the four branches that remain closed, you should return it to the alternate library listed in the table. If your library has reopened, please return it there.

Unless you have received a notice from HCPL that your ILL loan period has been extended, the original return date still applies.

Thank you for your question.

Pickup Spring Branch Library

Pickup Spring Branch Library

Could I return my books at

Could I return my books at the Library at LSC-Tomball?

Yes, you can return your

Yes, you can return your materials to LSC - Tomball.

Can I return my books at LSC

Can I return my books at LSC Tomball?

Yes, you can return your

Yes, you can return your materials to LSC - Tomball.

Recognizing this problem is

Recognizing this problem is minimal compared to others, with my branch (Barbara Bush) closed indefinitely I miss my library. I know you have closures posted. Could you please starting publicizing re-opening branches. Thank you.

Here is a list of branches

Here is a list of branches that are open for limited hours this week. 

 

Sept.15 is a pretty short

Sept.15 is a pretty short time frame to return books without fine for many of those folks so hard hit by the flooding. Returning library books is not going to be a priority, and they should not be penalized on top of all else they have experienced. How about extending this date to the end of October?

HCPL staff knows there will

HCPL staff knows there will be some customers who, because of severe flooding, evacuation or other Harvey-related circumstances, will not be able to return books by the September 15 deadline. We will, as we do with any customers experiencing situations beyond their control, make accommodations. 

Thank you for your comment.

I agree with David. Plus, the

I agree with David. Plus, the alternate libraries are quite a drive from my home. Bush was already a little far from me, but better than the alternates. Thank you for our wonderful libraries. Your current duties must be gut wrenching. I was so dismayed watching flood coverage and seeing Bush in the middle of an ocean.

My library flooded. Can I

My library flooded. Can I return my books to another branch?

If you have materials checked

If you have materials checked out from any of the flooded branches, you can return them to any one of open HCPL branch.  MAP

I have 2 books that were on

I have 2 books that were on hold and ready for pick-up at Barbara Bush (during storm dates), which I see will be closed until further notice. What happens to these 2 books on hold? I see where the pick-up dates are being extended, but that would apply to libraries that are open. Should I get back on the hold list? Appreciate your advice.

We have extended the hold

We have extended the hold shelf period—the time in which you have to pick up your materials—to 15 days. The situation with holds is complicated by the fact that many books that were on hold shelves when Harvey hit were damaged and can no longer be circulated. We will do our best to restore your place in the holds queue as fairly as possible given the circumstances. Much of the work to resolve holds issues will need to be done manually, so we ask for your patience.

If your customary pick up location is one of the four branches that will be closed for an extended period, Baldwin Boettcher, Barbara Bush, Katherine Tyra-Bear Creek & Kingwood, we suggest changing your pick up location in the preferences section of My Account to the branch you will be using while your normal is closed. HCPL

We have extended the hold

We have extended the hold shelf period—the time in which you have to pick up your materials—to 15 days. The situation with holds is complicated by the fact that many books that were on hold shelves when Harvey hit were damaged and can no longer be circulated. We will do our best to restore your place in the holds queue as fairly as possible given the circumstances. Much of the work to resolve holds issues will need to be done manually, so we ask for your patience.

If your customary pick up location is one of the four branches that will be closed for an extended period, Baldwin Boettcher, Barbara Bush, Katherine Tyra-Bear Creek & Kingwood, we suggest changing your pick up location in the preferences section of My Account to the branch you will be using while your normal is closed. HCPL

Hang in there library staff.

Hang in there library staff. You are a valuable part of our community. I hope they will reopen Baldwin Boettcher. Thanks for all that you all do. Just wanted to leave a kind word and tell ya'll not to give up.

Thank you very much. We

Thank you very much. We needed that!