Coronavirus | Waterloo, IA | Waterloo Public Library

Now offering Curbside Pickup Service! 

With the restrictions in Black Hawk County being lessened, the Library is excited to announce curbside pickup service is now available.


While we have been closed, we have been developing a multi-phase plan to safely restore library services, dependent on guidance from City of Waterloo and public health officials, and the availability of supplies and personal protective equipment to keep both the public and staff safe. At this time, we do not yet have a date for when the building will reopen, but as soon as we do, we will let you know. 


We look forward to restoring normal library operations and will continue to evaluate how and when to start our next phase of reopening.

Update on Library Services

Curbside Pickup Service is available

Monday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 


Available Materials:

Books, magazines, DVDs, Blu-rays, music CDs, and audiobooks/books on CD.

How it works:


1. Place Your Holds

Log into your account here. Search for titles you wish to check out and then click “Place Hold” next to each. You may also call the Waterloo Public Library for personal assistance in reserving items at (319)291-4476.


2. Receive Holds Ready Notification 

We will email or call when your holds are available for pickup. Once you receive this notification you may visit the library between 10 am and 4 pm Monday – Thursday to pick up your materials. Due to demand, wait times for holds placed online may be longer than usual. Thank you for your patience.


3. Arrive at Pickup Location & Call

Enter the library’s parking lot and remain in your vehicle. Have your library card number ready. 
Call (319)291-4480 or text us at (319)214-0009 to let us know you have arrived. Your items will be checked out to your account, bagged and brought outside. Enjoy!

You must pick up your materials within 10 days of receiving your "holds are available" notification. Unclaimed items will be checked back in and reshelved. 


If you would like library staff to suggest materials for you, please fill out our new Shelf Service form for personalized recommendations. You may then place items on hold for future curbside pickup.


Returning Items: For the safety of library staff, all returns must go to the outdoor book drop located near the library’s main entrance. Returned items will not be accepted at curbside pickup. All returns will go into a 72 hour quarantine period. For this reason, please understand that materials will still appear on your account until they are checked in by library staff.

Curbside Pickup FAQ: 


Can I come to the library in person to place an order?

Unfortunately, we are unable to process requests in person. You may make your request online or by calling. 


Can I enter the library to pick up my items? 

No, the library is closed to the public. 


How long will it take to process my order? 

We are working with a very limited staff; please expect at least a 48 hour turn around. 


I don’t know what I want to check out. Can someone choose for me? 

Absolutely! Library staff can assist with choosing materials for checkout if specific titles are not requested. Please fill out this form or call the library to submit your requests. 


Can I request materials from the Cedar Falls Public Library to be picked up in Waterloo?

Yes, both Waterloo and Cedar Falls Public Library materials are available for curbside pickup. Transfer service between libraries is very limited, so wait times for materials from CFPL may take longer than normal. 


How can I be sure my items are safe?

The library cannot guarantee any materials are free from germs, viruses, or other contagions. All returned materials are quarantined for at least 72 hours. If you prefer, you may wipe the plastic covers of your items with a disinfecting wipe at home. Please do not use disinfecting wipes on paper materials.

In the interest of public safety, the Waterloo Public Library will remain closed until further notice. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure your remote use of the library will be uninterrupted, including extending due dates and updating expiring cards. If anything else changes in the future with regards to WPL and the services we provide, we will communicate that to our patrons immediately.


At this time, staff members are available to answer your calls over the phone Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm* at 319-291-4476.
*Subject to change as conditions warrant. 
More information and frequently asked questions can be found at the bottom of this page. Thank you.

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Introducing WPL@Home

A new resource from WPL to help you stay safe, strong and sane in these uncertain times. Find information on our virtual summer library programs, craft at home videos and more! 

Introducing Shelf Service

Not sure what to read or watch next? Let us help you! 
Simply fill out the form and library staff will contact you with personalized suggestions. You may then place holds for curbside pickup service.

Virtual Summer Library Programs

Enjoy our virtual summer library programs June 1 - July 31

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Enjoy our large digital collection free with your library card!


Now is a great time to get familiar with our digital collection. Do you have questions about our free apps Libby, Hoopla, RBdigital, or Transparent Language? Give us a call. We will help you, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday!* 319-291-4476 *Subject to change as conditions warrant.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my items are due?

The due dates for all checked-out circulating materials will be extended through July 1.  We encourage you to return your items to the book drop outside our front entrance. Items will be quarantined for at least 72 hours so please understand that they may remain on your account for some time before they are checked in. Please keep in mind that we are now fine free and you will not be charged fines for overdue items. 


What if some of my holds are ready for pickup?

You may use curbside pickup service to obtain your items. 

Can I apply for a library card?

During our period of closure, Iowa state residents are welcome to apply for a library card on our website here — and gain access to an array of digital resources, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, databases, and more. When we reopen, new applicants should visit the library to obtain and validate their physical library card.


My library card is about to expire. How can I renew?

All accounts nearing their expiration dates have been renewed until the end of the year.


We hope that these measures help keep our community safe and well during this time. We are dedicated to providing our community with safe access to our resources and will immediately let you know as soon as we reopen our doors. Thank you for your patience.

From our Youth Department:

We sure do miss having storytime with you! In the meantime check out these kid friendly digital offerings provided for free through your library. We recommend you try out Tumble Book Library with your children. Tumble Book Library is a curated database of children’s e-books made with over 1100 titles for grades K-6, including unique animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, National Geographic videos, non-fiction books, graphic novels, playlists, lesson plans, quizzes, educational games, and books in Spanish and French. No limits! Just click and start watching. It's that easy!

We also encourage you to try Kids InfoBits if your kids start getting antsy for something do while school is out. Have them conduct research on animals, people, places, and so much more! 

If you are looking for ebooks and audiobooks for your children, try out our Overdrive eReading Room for Kids!

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© 2017 Waterloo Public Library, a department of the City of Waterloo