Summer Service Model

General Library Services FAQ | Parking Lot Pickup FAQ | Library Card & My Account FAQ | Online & Virtual Collection FAQ


General Library Services FAQ

When can we come back into the Library?

We know you miss being in the library building. We miss seeing you too! We have been working to craft a plan that will allow access to our building while also prioritizing the health and safety of our staff and patrons.

As our region moves into Phase 4: Revitalization of the Restore Illinois Plan in late June, we are planning to resume in-person services in early to mid July. Please visit our website, sign up for our e-news, or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates on our reopening plans.

 reopening plan 01 01 web

Why can’t the public use the Library building as usual?

Wilmette Public Library is a major community hub with approximately 350,000 annual visits and nearly one million items circulating each year. On a routine day, library staff and/or visitors to the Library touch materials and surfaces, share computers, assist with technology use, conduct checkout and reference transactions, use shared elevators and restrooms - all typically from much less than six feet away.

We want to do as much as we can to provide library services while also mitigating the spread of this virus. This does mean that some normal services will be disrupted, but as state restrictions loosen, we will continue to expand the services that we can safely offer.


How can I check out and return books?

We are developing and refining safe processes to get you the materials you want this summer. We are offering limited, contact-free access to physical materials (books, music, DVDs, etc.) by Parking Lot Pickup, beginning Monday, June 1. See the Parking Lot Pickup FAQ below for current circulation procedures.


How will you ensure the safety of the Library materials?

Select staff are working in small teams in the building to prepare items for pickup. All staff members wear masks while handling materials, and practice social distancing while working. We have implemented enhanced hygiene practices for surfaces, bathrooms, and work spaces.

Returns will be quarantined for three days before being circulated back into the community. The length of the quarantine is determined by best practices established by health authorities and professional library associations.


What is Library staff doing now?

  • Ordering, processing, and adding new materials to the collection
  • Creating and promoting virtual programming for all ages and interests
  • Filling requests for recommended reading materials, assisting with e-books, and answering reference questions from the community, including taking direct calls and sending increased communications via email and social media channels
  • Professional development and training
  • Performing maintenance to the library facility and grounds
  • Planning for reopening with modifications as a result of the coronavirus


Parking Lot Pickup FAQ


What are the details of Parking Lot Pickup and Returns services?

This service is currently available to Wilmette cardholders only.

  • Updated Service Hours begin July 1:
    • Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm
    • Saturday: 10am-3pm
    • Closed Sundays
  • Reserve library materials online or over the phone. You will receive an automated email or phone notification when your items are ready to pick up.
  • Appointments are required beginning July 6. You can make an appointment by calling the library or online. Please don't make an appointment until you have received a notice your items are ready to pick up.
  • Only materials currently in the Wilmette Public Library collections will be available.
  • Checkout Period: 21 days

How will I know my library items are ready?

Beginning July 3, notifications will be sent by automated email instead of staff phone call. We will also begin requiring appointments for Parking Lot Pickup in order to serve you better. A link to make your appointment will be provided in the email holds notification. 


What do I do when I get to the library to pick up my items?

pickup for webWhen you arrive at the library, park in one of the designated pick up spots and call the phone number posted at your parking spot. Do not exit your car. A staff member will package your items in a bag for your convenience, and place them on a chair in front of your vehicle. Please remain in your car until the staff member has delivered your items, and stepped away. You may then retrieve the items from the chair in front of your vehicle. Please respect social distancing of others in this area at all times.


How can I return my books?

We are accepting returns during the same hours as our Parking Lot Pickup service. There will be no fines on any outstanding books.


Are you accepting donations?

The Library and Friends are not accepting donations of materials at this time.


What will happen to my books after I return them?

We will quarantine all items for three days after they have been returned, per the recommendation of health authorities and professional library organizations. Books and other returned items will go into our return bins and will not be touched by staff until the quarantine period is complete. At that point, items will be checked in.


Is browsing permitted in the building?

While the building is closed to the public, there is no browsing of the physical collection.  Librarians are available to help make selections. You may contact librarians via email, phone, or the chat box on the library website, or fill out a Book Picks request form (available on our website) for a personalized book list created for you by our librarians:

Fill out our Book Picks form for Adults & Teens

Fill out our Book Picks form for Kids


What items can I place on hold?

We are currently only circulating items that are currently in the Wilmette Library collection. You will not be able to place items on hold from other libraries until inter-library delivery resumes (likely when Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan comes to our region).


If you have any questions, please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Library Card and My Account FAQ


Can I get a library card during the building closure?

Yes, we are issuing library card while the building is closed. Fill out our online application, and we will contact you with a library card number.


What if my card is expired?

We are renewing cards that are expired. Send us an email and we will provide access to your account.


What if my card is blocked?

We are removing fines and blocks from accounts. If your account is inaccessible due to fines, call us or send us an email and we will restore account access.


How can I get help with my library account?

Please send us an email atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for help accessing your account.


Online Collections and Virtual Programs FAQ


How do I check out ebooks with my library card?

We offer ebooks through a number of platforms, accessible on a range of devices and appropriate for all ages. Learn more about our ebook collections, including tutorials to get you started.


Do you have movies and television shows I can stream online?

Our digital collections include a wide variety of shows and movies that you can watch with your library card. Learn more about our downloadable and streaming collections


I want an ebook or audiobook that is not in our online collection. Can I request it?

You can suggest that we purchase the item through our online form, or send us an email requesting the item toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Are you offering programs during the building closure?

We have virtual programs for all ages, including all new storytimes, concerts, informational lectures, and more. All programming will be virtual through at least August 31. All of our virtual programs are listed on our online calendar.


Do I need any special software to access your virtual programs?

Just an internet-connected computer or device; you don’t need anything special. We host our programs primarily on Facebook and Zoom, and you do not need an account with either to access our content. We occasionally use YouTube live, and you do not need an account for that either. To view our programs hosted on Facebook, visit our Facebook page. To attend a virtual event hosted on Zoom, register on our online calendar and we will send you a link ahead of the event.


I was looking forward to an event on your calendar. Are you rescheduling it?

We will work with our previously-scheduled presenters and performers to find a new date on our calendar once it is safe to resume group gatherings. We don’t know when that will be, but keep an eye on our website – and in your mailbox – for announcements about updates in services.


How can I learn about upcoming events and changes in services?

We send a weekly email newsletter with library news and program information, and a weekly email newsletter aimed at families and children. You can sign up for both e-newsletters on our website. We also share news on our website and Facebook page. We also send out postcards and brochures promoting our events.


Can I book a room for a date in the future?

We are not renting or reserving rooms at this time. We will announce when we are accepting room reservations on our website and Facebook page.


Updated July 2, 2020


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