Reopening FAQs

You may have a lot of questions about coming back into the Library building after the COVID-19 closure.  We've responded to some frequently asked questions below.  If you have other questions or concerns, please contact us by email at reference@urbanafree.org or phone at 217-367-4405.

Q: What can I expect? 
A: We continue to monitor state and local statements from health officials and have met with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District to learn more about best practices for creating a safe environment for both staff and community members. Our safety measures include frequent cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces, limited seating, plexiglass shields at service desks, all staff wearing masks, and providing hand sanitizer in some areas of the building. 

The Library has taken the Champaign County Safe pledge and we ask that everyone follow pledge guidelines, which includes wearing a mask if medically able and staying at least 6 feet apart.  If you are unable to follow Champaign County Safe guidelines, we recommend using Curbside Pickup or calling the Library for assistance at 217-367-4405 or emailing reference@urbanafree.org.

Q: Is the Library's parking lot open?
A: Yes, as of June 26 you can enter the Library's parking lot from Green Street and exit past the book returns to Cedar Street.  For now, only the north lane of Green Street is open to give us access to the parking lot.  There is no exit from our parking lot onto Green Street at this time.

Q: Will you still offer Curbside Pickup service?
A: Yes! Starting June 27, Curbside Pickup will be in our parking lot on Green Street.  Answers to FAQs here.

Q: May I pick up my holds inside the Library at the Circulation Desk?
A: Yes.

Q: Will the Race Street and Green Street doors be open?
A: For the initial opening phase, we will welcome the community into the building through the Green Street doors only.

Q: How about the computers?
A: Computers are spaced to provide recommended social distancing. You'll be able to sign up to use a computer for an hour at a time (one session per day).

Q: Any other options for computers or free WiFi?
A: You are welcome to check out a hotspot to use at home. WiFi is available throughout the Library and extends to the parking lot.

Q: Can I return books, movies, and everything else?
A: Yes! We are accepting returns by the Information Desk during open hours and in our outside Green Street returns.

Q: What about items checked out from the Champaign Public Library or interlibrary loan items?
A: Return your items to Champaign or Urbana, whichever is convenient. We are once again delivering materials between libraries. 

Q: What happens to returned books?
A: We will heat-treat with specialized equipment or quarantine materials prior to check-in to ensure they are safe for staff and patrons to handle, so it may take 7-11 days for items to be removed from your Library account after they have been returned. We will waive overdue fees if your items go past their due dates while we quarantine them. To prevent damage, please do not attempt to clean or heat-treat items at home.

Q: Is the Library disinfecting each item left behind by a patron on a table? 
A: No.  C-U PHD stated that as long as there is ample hand sanitizer and opportunities for patrons and staff to wash/sanitize their hands, this is not a necessary step.

Q: Can I donate items to the Friends?
A: At this time, we are unable to accept donated items

Q: Can I pay fees with cash?
A: You may, but we are encouraging all patrons who are able to pay with a credit or debit card and avoid using cash whenever possible.

Q: What will it be like for kids?
A: Kids can enjoy browsing books and taking them home. For everyone's health, toys and puzzles are stored away right now.

Q: What about story times, community events, and meeting rooms?
A: All in-person events, as well as use of the meeting and study rooms, are cancelled through at least July 16 as we continue to monitor Restore Illinois recommendations. We have many virtual programs that you can find here.

Q:  Is it OK to come hang out?
A:  Not at this time. There is a 1-hour time limit in the building per day and patrons are asked to expedite their transactions. Also, throughout the Library, furniture will be removed or taped off to promote social distancing.

Q: I got an eCard while you were closed. What now?
A: So great to hear you’ve been able to use your eCard! Schedule a Curbside Pickup appointment or come to Circulation Services with an officially printed, unexpired photo ID and proof of your current Urbana residence—such as a bill postmarked in the last 30 days and we will convert your eCard to a full-use card.

Q:  Can I come in to get a Library card?
A:  You can start the process of getting a Library card by registering for an eCard here. Then you can schedule a Curbside Pickup appointment or come to Circulation Services with an officially printed, unexpired photo ID and proof of your current Urbana residence—such as a bill postmarked in the last 30 days—and we will convert your eCard to a full-use card.

Q:  My card is expired or expiring soon, what do I do?
A:  You can schedule a Curbside Pickup appointment or come to Circulation Services with an officially printed, unexpired photo ID and proof of your current Urbana residence—such as a bill postmarked in the last 30 days—and we will renew your card.

Q:  Will the café be open?
A:  Not initially. We hope to open soon and allow seating on the porch. 

Q: I have questions, but I don't feel comfortable coming in yet.
A: We can help! Contact us by email at reference@urbanafree.org or phone at 217-367-4405.