Library to re-open book returns and expand services on May 17, 2021

On Monday, May 17, 2021, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will move to expand services under Level 2 of its multilevel re-opening plan to include re-opening material book drops. Customers will be able to return items to the Library material book drops during and outside of normal operating hours, a move that aligns with current guidance on the handling of Library materials.

The Library will reinstate its Interlibrary Loan service (ILL) which allows customers to request items the Library doesn’t carry from other libraries for loan and with a fee of $2 per received item. Customers who originally submitted an ILL request between March 16, 2020-May 16, 2021, should resubmit their requests for processing. Requests for microfiche/microfilm remain suspended.

Note: Please be prepared to pay for fees by credit or debit card, online or in-person.  Library locations are not handling cash at this time.

Click here for frequently asked ILL questions

For more information on or to register for an Interlibrary Loan account, please click here.

The Library will eliminate the 24-hour quarantine period for returned items, following guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This means materials will move through holds faster for customers waiting “in line” for materials. Although the Library is eliminating its quarantine period for returned items, there is no need for customers to “clean” or disinfect materials.

For more information about available Expanded Level 2 services, please click here.

Customers can still enjoy holds pickup, the in-person browsing of books and materials and make reservations to use express computers at designated branches. Access to digital resources and participation in the Library’s many programs, events, services and more for children, teens, adults, Outreach and the Job Help Center remain available in online and virtual formats.

To find information about the Library’s exciting programs and events, please visit the Library calendar here.

Last September, the Library implemented social distancing and safety measures that included the installation of plexiglass safety shields at customer service points and the removal of leisure seating. Customers and staff are required to wear face masks or coverings as mandated by Mecklenburg County.  Library staff continue to remind customers to abide by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) 6-foot social distancing guidelines. Please note: Seating remains unavailable.

Additional safety measures include:

  • Regularly scheduled cleaning of facilities and surfaces in accordance with CDC recommendations.
  • Self-checkout stations available for customers to check out their own materials.

The Library continues to incorporate in-person services in a responsible way that focuses on safety. Follow us on social media or visit the Library’s blog at for updated information on the continued re-opening of services.

The Library will continue to open under these operational hours:

  • Monday-Thursday - 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • ​Friday and Saturday - 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • ​Sunday - closed

Note: The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room is closed for in-person services, but remains open by phone at 704-416-0150 and online for virtual reference at Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Here’s what’s available during expanded Level 2 services*:

  • Face masks/coverings as REQUIRED per Mecklenburg County directives. The Library is aware of the May 14, 2021 Executive Order by NC Governor Roy Cooper lifting the indoor face covering mandate. However, the Library aligns its policy with the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) which currently requires face coverings while on County property.
  • Managed maximum number of customers in a branch at a time
  • Use of social distancing safety markers
  • Ability to browse for materials
  • Option to use express computers (through in-branch reservation only) at branch locations EXCEPT Cornelius, Davidson and ImaginOn Libraries
  • Streamlined self-checkout designed for quick in-and-out and safe, socially-distanced interactions.
  • Mobile printing is available for pickup from the branch. Learn more here.
  • Wi-Fi access is available outside the facility 24/7
  • Free mobile hotspots are available for customers to place on hold for checkout for seven (7) days at a time
  • Materials and holds available for pickup inside the branches.
  • All checkouts are self-checkouts. You can scan your card (physical or on the app) and the materials. You will not need to enter your pin.
  • All material/book drops are open
  • Programming continues online

*Services subject to change

Community and study rooms – room reservations are unavailable until further notice.

Outreach programming – continues online or virtual, as coordinated between our Outreach team and the organization.

Programming and events – all programs and events for children, teens, adults and the Job Help Center remain online in virtual formats. Check here for the weekly schedule or visit the Calendar page on our website. 

We’re here for you online or on the phone.
You can reach our online chat during regular operating hours at and click on Ask a Librarian. Our telephone reference team is also available during normal operating hours at (704) 416-0101, or you can contact your local branch location directly - visit the Branches page for more information.