Martha’s Vineyard public libraries are committed to the health and safety of our entire community. We have worked closely with local Boards of Health, and following local and professional guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to develop an island-wide plan to resume library services in phases. When contactless pickup begins, library buildings will remain closed to the public, and all in-person public programs and meetings are suspended until further notice.
While we are unable to welcome you into the library in person, we are happy to finally be able to safely provide you with books and other library materials! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we adjust library services to serve you safely as conditions allow.
How does Contactless Holds Pickup Work?
Placing holds is as easy as it’s ever been! There are four fast and easy ways to order library materials:
Call (508) 696-4210 and leave a message with your request. Make sure you leave your full name and/or library card number.
Email [email protected] with your request. Make sure you include your full name and/or library card number.
* When searching the catalog, you will get the best results if you refine your search using the tools on the left of the screen by selecting “Availability > At a library” and “Collection > Vineyard Haven Public Library” or “Collection > Vineyard Haven – Children’s Collection“. This will ensure that you’re only viewing materials that are on our shelves right now.
When you call or email us, you can request specific titles, or ask us to recommend titles for you. You can also request reading recommendations using our online form. You can ask for some children’s books on tigers, the latest in a cozy mystery series, or even reading recommendations for someone who enjoys Swedish crime noir. We’ll do our best to fulfill the request with what we have on our shelves and call you when your material is ready for pickup.
All requests will be placed as holds on your patron account, and we will contact you to arrange for pickup when your items are ready to be picked up. this will enable us to fill requests in the order in which they are received.
We can only pull library materials that you’ve put on hold in advance. We cannot fill walk-up requests at this time. We look forward to having you return to the library to browse or ask for materials on the spot, but that will come later.
Until inter-library delivery resumes, we can only fulfill requests that are physically located at the Vineyard Haven Public Library. Hundreds of our materials are at other libraries or at home with your neighbors. Thank you for your patience and understanding that not everything will be available when you want or need it.
If you place holds on items located at other libraries, you would need to arrange to pick those items up at the library where the item is currently available.
If you would like to recommend that the library purchase an item not in our collection, use the form available here to suggest a purchase.
Hold Notification & Pickup
We will call you when your hold is ready. We will set up a day and time for pick up at the library so that we can prepare your hold prior to your arrival.
Hold pickup will be available from 12pm-4pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and 2pm-6pm on Thursday.
Requests will be fulfilled in the order they are recieved. We will do our best to fill same day holds placed by 10am.
Please arrive at the library within the 30 minute time slot assigned to you, and be prepared to show your library card or photo ID.
Hold pickup location is within the entry vestibule at our main entrance on Main Street.
Patrons who are coming to pick up materials must wear a mask and maintain social distance of at least 6 feet from others.
Only one patron at a time will be allowed in the entry vestibule. Please wait in the designated area on the sidewalk until other patrons have completed pickup.
When you enter the pickup area you will find your requested items checked out and waiting for you in a bag marked with the first 4 letters of your last name and last 4 digits of your library card number. Bags will be on carts, in alphabetical order by last name.
If you are physically unable to walk to the library’s entrance, please bring or send someone who can do it for you. If you send someone else to pick up your holds, you must notify the library prior to their arrival.
We miss seeing and catching up with you, but staff will not be able to speak with you face to face during contactless pickup. If you have a question during pickup please step outside the entry vestibule and call us at (508) 696-4210, or use the doorbell to the left of the entryway.
Patrons must wear masks and maintain social distance of at least six feet when visiting library property, and should not pick up or return items when feeling unwell. Library staff will be happy to assist by rescheduling pickup of requested items when you are feeling better.
Returning Library Materials
Items may only be returned at our curbside book drop, the book return slots at the entryway will remain closed. Please do not return library materials in the hold pickup area.
Returned items will be quarantined for up to one week before being checked in, so there will be a delay of up to 10 days between the date of return and when the item is removed from your CLAMS account. Martha’s Vineyard libraries are always fine free, and no late charges will accrue.
The library is unable to accept any book donations at this time. Please do not place any donated items in the book return.
If you believe you are in this category, you may contact the library to designate a family member or friend to pick up materials on your behalf. Please contact us at (508) 696-4210 to update your account to allow someone to pick up your items.
If you do not have someone who can pick up materials for you, the library will be providing limited, temporary home delivery services. Contact the Library Director at (508) 696-4210 or email [email protected] for more information.
For library patrons who may continue to feel safer staying home, all libraries will continue to offer you digital materials, services, programs and support.
Digital Library offerings include downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks from Overdrive, streaming video from Kanopy, Creativebug, and RBDigital, and additional resources such as Hoopla, available to all Massachusetts residents from the Boston Public Library. Library staff will be happy to assist you in getting started with these services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know my hold items are ready for pickup?
We will call or email you to schedule pick up when your items are ready.
To support social distancing efforts, the library is operating with limited staff. Wait times for holds placed online are currently longer than usual. Thanks for your patience.
Do I need a library card?
Yes, patrons must have a CLAMS card to use hold pickup. If you do not have a regular library card, we can create one for you over the phone and arrange pickup. Call the library at 508-696-4210.
Patrons can apply for an eCard for instant access to our Overdrive eBook collection, but please note that temporary eCards can only be used for online services.
What if I have mobility issues and cannot leave my vehicle?
If a patron experiences mobility issues, we can provide an accommodation such as placing bagged items on the hood or in the trunk of your vehicle. Please request this when you call.
What materials are available for pickup?
All media materials currently on the shelf are available, including books, magazines, audiobooks on CD, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. Some items such as electronic equipment and toys are not currently available.
Can you look for specific items or provide reading suggestions?
What if I have fines or I’m over the checkout limit?
We no longer charge late fines, however replacement fees for lost books cannot be waived. Patrons who have been billed for lost items may still use the Overdrive eBook collection during pandemic closure, and can contact the library to make arrangements to restore access to physical materials.
If you are over the checkout limit, please call us to see if we can make accommodations.
Can I place a hold via telephone?
Yes, please call 508-696-4210 to place your requests. If we are unable to answer the phone, please leave a detailed message including a callback number.
What are you doing to protect the safety of patrons and library staff?
The contactless pickup model we are using provides maximum social distancing for the safety of our patrons and our staff. Staff will wear cloth face coverings and clean hands frequently, in accordance with the town’s workplace safety policy and CDC guidelines.
All physical materials will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours prior to being returned to the collection to be reshelved or circulated to other patrons. Carts used for pickup items will be routinely sanitized.
Patrons and staff should not approach one another and respect the need for social distancing. This may feel uncomfortable, but is necessary to provide a safe, contactless pickup service. If you notice patrons in the pickup area, please remain in your vehicle or at the designated waiting area on the sidewalk until the previous patron has departed the area.
Why are you using bags for pickup items?
Bags are a temporary measure to protect patron privacy, protect physical materials, and limit unnecessary contact. Bags help separate materials to avoid the need to sort through items.
We understand that things are changing from week to week, so we’re keeping you informed through our website and Facebook page. To recieve regular updates on library services and programs, sign up for our email newsletter.
Still have questions? We’re always here to help! Please call us at 508-696-4211 or email [email protected] with your inquiries or special requests.