Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio – “The health and safety of customers and staff is our first priority,” said Paula Brehm-Heeger in an announcement issued July 2 by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Paula Brehm-Heeger is the Director of the system of libraries.

Paula Brehm-Heeger is the Director of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Her statement was issued after Thursday’s announcement by Governor DeWine and his team of health professionals unveiled a new monitoring and reporting system for COVID 19 infections in each county.

The “Ohio Public Health Advisory System” is based upon a set of criteria and categorizes all Ohio counties in one of four levels. Counties are rated as:  1) yellow, 2) orange, 3) red or 4) purple — with purple being the highest cautionary rating.

Seven counties in Ohio are rated “red” including Hamilton County.  The description and guidelines for level three include:

    • Very high exposure and spread
    • Limit activities as much as possible
    • Follow all current health orders

“Based upon this new information, we have made the difficult decision to pause in-person services in our buildings beginning Monday, July 6,” said Brehm-Heeger. All of the 28 open locations will continue to provide curbside or drive-thru service, and they will continue to open nine more locations to provide these services throughout July.

This temporary change is a proactive decision to help limit the spread of the virus, according to Brehm-Heeger. “We will monitor news and information from health officials daily so we can bring back in-person service as soon as the situation improves and the key alert indicators start trending downward. We have repeatedly been reminded that the pandemic is fast moving and requires our quick response and ability to adjust plans accordingly.” Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we adjust to the pandemic and find new ways to serve you.”

Between now and the middle of July, the Library is phasing services back in, with new locations being added each week. The goal is to be providing services at all locations by mid-July. The exception is Price Hill, as that location is currently closed through the end of 2020 for a major renovation and expansion project. “We’ll use this space to keep you up to date on what is going on. We are excited to see you again,” said Kathy Taylor, Regional Manager in a statement issued on July 3.

The Loveland Branch currently has Curbside Service only and no Drive-Thru Service is planned.

Brehm-Heeger said, “Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we adjust to the pandemic and find new ways to serve you.”

Hours of Service 

Beginning June 15, all open locations will be operating from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Book Drops 

All locations are accepting returns through their book drops, except Price Hill. Materials are being quarantined for 3 days before being checked-in, so it will be a few days before you see any changes reflected on your account.

Curbside Service 

  • Curbside: Avondale, Blue Ash, Clifton, College Hill, Delhi, Forest Park, Green Township, Hyde Park, Loveland, Madisonville, Mariemont, Monfort Heights, North Central, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, St. Bernard, Sharonville, Symmes, Walnut Hills, Westwood, West End and Wyoming
  • Beginning July 6th these branches will open curbside service:  Madeira, Mt. Washington
  • Beginning July 13 these branches will open for curbside service: Bond Hill, Cheviot, Corryville, Deer Park, Green Hills, Miami Township, Northside, Norwood

Scheduled appointments are not required for curbside service, but calling ahead will make the process more efficient for you, especially if you need to do something other than pick up a hold.

When you arrive at your location for curbside pick-up, look for the curbside service sign, park, and call the branch at the number on the sign.

Drive-Thru Service  

Drive-thrus are at these locations: Anderson, Covedale, Groesbeck, Harrison, Reading, and the Downtown Main Library 

Scheduled appointments are not required drive-thru service, but calling ahead will make the process more efficient for you, especially for curbside service, or if you need to do something other than pick up a hold. Find phone numbers for all branches on this web page.

Holds/Borrowing Items 

If you would like to borrow an item from the library, search our catalog, find the item you want, place a hold on it, and choose which location you’d like to pick up the item from. Or you can call us, and we’ll place the hold for you.

When the item is ready, you will receive an email notice. You can pick it up anytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  If you’d like, you can call the location and schedule a time for pick-up.

In-Person Services 

Due to the wide community spread of the virus in Hamilton County right now, the Library made the decision to temporarily suspend in-person services. Read more in this blog post from the director.

We’re Here for You Online and on the Phone 

  • Our eBranch is always open, and we are continuing to provide events like storytimes online on a regular basis. Check our calendar for more information.
  • Call, email or chat with us seven days a week for help with job searching, finding trusted health information, getting assistance with a library resource, and more.

For the latest Library service updates and resources, please visit our COVID-19 resource page.