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Screenshot from HCPHES Coronavirus Map

There are some very simple steps you can take to minimize your chances of contracting respiratory illnesses like the Coronavirus. Staying up-to-date on developments of outbreaks and avoiding misinformation are two of them. Below is a brief video from our partners at Harris County Public Health to get you up to speed on the risks and what you can do to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible.

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Here are the common-sense steps you can take to stop the spread of germs

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.
  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep up to date on the latest news. Bookmark Harris County Public Health's Coronavirus Page and check it periodically.

Harris County Commissioners and Harris County Public Library are staying abreast of the situation and will continue to keep you informed as developments warrant. 

Graphic of steps to take to stop the spread of germs from HCPHES

 

 

Comments

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Why cancel programs if the library is still open and crowded? If you’re letting people come in you should keep the programs we’re looking forward to

In reply to by jack (not verified)

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Believe us, we want to get back to doing what we do best as much as you want us to, but as a public institution, we must proceed in accordance with public health recommendations and protocols. We will open in phases, starting with no-contact curbside pick-up in the coming weeks. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

In reply to by David C.

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My friend who is a librarian in Wisconsin says their library is doing curbside pickup. You can request a hold on a book in that library, they'll pull it and then you have a certain amount of time to pick it up from curbside. It's working, why not here?

In reply to by Tonya Rakozy (not verified)

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We did curbside pick-up prior to the Stay Home, Work Safe order and we will be resuming it in the coming weeks, but we do not yet have a definite date for the restart of curbside pick up. We will announce it here and on social media when that information becomes available. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

In reply to by David C.

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I don’t think many of us are very patient. We are all ready for a modicum or normalcy and we feel it restaurants and stores can open with 25 percent occupancy at some places, the library Can too. None of this makes logical sense. It’s so arbitrary.

In reply to by Sharon Salinas (not verified)

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We understand your frustration. HCPL in accordance with Harris County leadership is doing what we feel is best for the safety of both patrons and staff. Believe us when we say we want to open our doors and get back to doing what we do best as much as you want us to, but we would rather err on the side of caution than be the cause of a resurgence of the coronavirus. We thank you for your comment.

In reply to by patron_371094

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My apologies. I passed on incorrect information in my earlier reply: LSC-CyFair Branch Library, according to its LSC page, is "closed until further notice." There is no re-open date currently available, but the library will not re-open on June 1. Your holds will be available when the library reopens.
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Just wanted to know if you guys have an expected date for the Tomball location to reopen. I have books to return and am dying to pick up my holds. I miss the library☹️

In reply to by Tangy Belland (not verified)

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According to the Lone Star College webpage, all campuses are closed to the public through June 1. The LSC-Tomball Community Library should reopen on or near that date. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

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Believe us, we want to get back to doing what we do best as much as you want us to, but as a public institution, we must proceed in accordance with public health recommendations and protocols. We will open in phases, starting with no-contact curbside pick-up in the coming weeks. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Will the Spring Branch branch continue to accept the return of HPL DVDs and books? When will we able to check out items on hold?

In reply to by Ron Drees (not verified)

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Yes, you can still return Houston Public Library items to Spring Branch's book drop. We hope to resume curbside holds pick-up later this month. We do not have a definite date for that yet, but will announce it on social media and the website when it is available. Thank you for your question.

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Most all retail is open. Why not the library? I can go to. Kroger. Target. Walgreens. Heb. Walmart. What’s the difference?

In reply to by Louis james (not verified)

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Believe us, we want to get back to doing what we do best as much as you want us to, but as a public institution, we must proceed in accordance with public health recommendations and protocols. We will open in phases, starting with no-contact curbside pick-up in the coming weeks. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

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please help. I deleted my libby account. I need a new account with a new # unless my old one is on file somewhere

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Have been trying to contact and find out how to return books I had before Covid 19 hit. I have had to leave Harris county and probably won't be back till late Oct or early Nov. No one to leave books with.

In reply to by Sarah Anderson (not verified)

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The best way to handle this would be to call the branch library from which you checked out the items and explain your situation. No late fees are being charged during the closures, Here is a link to all our location phone numbers: https://www.hcpl.net/locations

Thank you for contacting us with this issue.

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Thanks for opening the book drop; I used it today. What is the turnaround time to show that library has received items and will no longer show as checked out by me? Also will the library be starting curbside pick up again for any holds that are ready? We miss you library!

In reply to by patron_753169

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As you might expect, HCPL is processing a heavier than normal influx of book and DVD returns. It may take a few days to work through the backlog of returns so that the returns are reflected in your account. Yes, curbside pick up is coming. No definite date, yet. Thanks for your patience.

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I have some books that are showing in transit. I pick mine up at the Bellaire Library. Will those be moving again once you resume curbside pick up? Bellaire is already doing curbside, so just trying to understand when the HCPL books in other libraries will start being moved around again.

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Our delivery trucks are starting limited deliveries this week. I'm sorry that I cannot give you a more definitive timeline when your holds will arrive at Bellaire. 

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My kids are dying to pick up library books, they are avid readers and are bored of the books at home. When will curbside be available to pick up? I don't want to have to buy all these new books for our history unit studies.

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I'm sorry. We do not yet have a definite start date for resuming curbside pick up. We will announce it on social media and this website as soon as it is available. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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I was wondering if there’s a plan to open for tax help before the extended summer deadline?

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I wish I could give you a definitive answer to your question. We don't yet have a firm date for when HCPL branches will be reopening to the public, and without that, it is difficult to make arrangements with service providers like AARP's Tax Aide. We will announce plans for resuming library services as soon as they are available. 

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When can I return my book. I have tried several times.

In reply to by Ford Hubbert (not verified)

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Libraries are not yet open to the public, but book drops are available at all HCPL branches except the libraries Lone Star College campuses: CyFair and Tomball. If your item is checked out from CyFair or Tomball, you can return it to any other HCPL branch's book drop, or you can hold it in safekeeping until those branches reopen. Here is map and links to all HCPL locations: https://www.hcpl.net/locations

Thank you for reaching out to us with your question.

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I never thought I would be happy with an E Reader but with the library closed I had to try. I bought a Kindle Paperwhite and couldn't be happier! Nothing beats roaming the library and finding new books to enjoy but this small, lightweight, perfectly lighted device holds many books. Some free from the library and some free from other give aways. I can carry it anywhere and it is even waterproof. If not for the closure I probably would never have tried this and now I love it! Thanks to the library I am always learning new things.

In reply to by patron_8275

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Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We've always said the idea that we all have to choose sides between eReaders and print books is not very useful. We have heard from many people who have similar stories to yours. Happy reading!

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I have been in queue for a digital audiobook for a very long time now and it is finally my turn, however, I can't access it. My app says that it's available but gives me no way to download it and the website says I'm still in queue. I understand that there are no physical books/audiobooks/DVDs being distributed at the moment due to Covid-19, but shouldn't I still be able to access digital books? Is this even an issue due to Covid-19 or is this something else?

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I went by Fri, 5/8 to return books to the drop but there is still a sign on the door in Crosby that says not to drop at this time. Can we drop?

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We're sorry to hear that you are having issues with downloading your hold. Unfortunately, troubleshooting will be difficult here. I would suggest using OverDrive support: https://help.overdrive.com/

If you cannot resolve the issue there, please use the chat option on Ask a Librarian. Chat works in real-time, so they would be able to walk you through a solution. Here's a link for Ask a Librarian chat: https://www.hcpl.net/services/ask-us

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Hello! I was at the Freeman book drop about an hour ago. The childrens book drop door is jammed. I noticed a number of cars in the staff parking, so I tried calling to let them know, but no one answered. If you could please let them know. Thanks.

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Hello, If I read the notice correctly, the drop box at Barbara bush is now open. If I'm not able to drop off the books at this time, will late fees now be added? My books were originally due back the day after the library closed.

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I have contacted Freeman staff. Thank you for the heads up. 

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Is it possible there would be a restriction when open to use a mask like N95 3M
or any mask would do?

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Thank you for your question. The library is working with Harris County leadership for procedures for when we are able to re-open on a limited basis to the public. We will announce those when the time comes.

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