Returns: Outdoor or Indoor Book Drops Only. Holds Pick-Up: In-Branch Self Checkout, Curbside or Drive-Up Service. In-Branch: Technology services, browsing collection, self checkout. Virtual Branch is available 24/7.

Please visit the Locations page for current operating hours. For more information on current services and how the Library is keeping customers and staff safe, visit the MCPL COVID-19 Information and Updates page.

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MCPL COVID-19 Information and Updates

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Mid-Continent Public Library continues to monitor the recommendations and guidelines of government and public health officials regarding COVID-19 on a daily basis. The safety of our customers and staff is our primary concern.

Check this page regularly for updates on the Library’s current services.

Currently, MCPL is offering “Express Service,” which includes: 

  • Independent Browsing: Customers may select items from the shelves on their own and check them out using the self-check kiosks at the front of their branch.
  • Technology Services: Public computers, fax machines, printers, and copiers are available for use.  
  • Pick-Up of Materials: Customers can retrieve their holds inside the branch, but branches will continue to operate curbside or drive-up window service as well. 
  • Returns: Library materials, including book group books and Interlibrary loan materials, can be returned at indoor and outdoor book drop locations and at branch desks.

Important: 

  • Branch Capacity: Branches are operating with reduced occupancy based on local guidelines. This may lead to wait times for browsing or use of public computers. 
  • Time Limits: Visitors are asked to limit their time in the branch to a maximum of 90 minutes per day, and public computers may be used for a total of 60 minutes during that time.
  • Mandatory Masks: All customers visiting a branch must wear a mask over the nose and mouth throughout the duration of a visit. 
  • Customers who are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test or have the following symptoms are asked not to visit:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste
    • New loss of smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion
    • Runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

*Current Operating Hours

  • Monday–Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed

The Camden Point, Dearborn, Edgerton, and Weston Branches will operate as follows:

  • Monday–Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday – closed 

The Farview Neighborhood Library operates as follows

  • Tuesday–Saturday: 10:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m.

The updated schedule allows Library staff to work in smaller, alternating shifts, mitigating exposure to one another and ultimately decreasing the risk of branch closures. Developed in response to growing staffing challenges related to the pandemic, the new hours will remain in effect until further notice. 

Learn more

Branch Operating Status

Please check the chart below for information regarding branch closures due to COVID-19 exposure and construction. Learn more about the status of the Library’s capital plan projects.

Branch Status Holds Extended Until
Antioch Open  
Blue Ridge Closed/Construction  
Blue Springs North Open  
Blue Springs South Open  
Boardwalk Open  
Buckner Open  
Camden Point Open  
Claycomo Open  
Colbern Road Closed/Construction  
Dearborn Open  
East Lee's Summit Open  
Edgerton Open  
Excelsior Springs Open  
Farview Open  
Grain Valley Open  
Grandview Open  
Kearney Open  
Lee's Summit Closed/Construction  
Lone Jack Open  
Midwest Genealogy Center Open  
North Independence Open  
North Oak Open  
Oak Grove Open  
Parkville Open  
Platte City Open  
Raytown Open  
Red Bridge Open  
Riverside Open  
Smithville Open  
South Independence Open  
Weston Open  
Withers Open  
Woodneath Library Center Open  

Available Services

All MCPL locations require everyone (including customers, staff, and vendors) entering a building to wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth throughout their visit until further notice. Customers are asked not to visit a branch if they are waiting for a COVID-19 test result or have any of the known COVID-19 symptoms. 

The Library is following the guidelines from the Kansas City Health Department's current face mask mandate. Learn more.

  • Independent Browsing: Customers may select items from the shelves on their own and check them out from the self-check kiosks at the front of the branches. 
  • Pick-up of Library materials placed on hold will continue to be available through curbside and drive-up window service. (See below). To learn more about curbside service procedures, watch this video.
  • Return of Library materials: Library materials, including book group books and Inter-library loan materials, can be returned at indoor and outdoor book drop locations and at branch desks. No donated items are being accepted at this time. More information is in the “How to Return Materials” section below. 
  • Technology services: Public computers, printers, copiers, and fax machines are all available for use. Social distancing practices will be in place. Masks must be worn by all customers throughout their visit. 

Important:

  • Staff and Customer Safety: All staff and customers are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth for the duration of their time in a Library location. For more information on measures to keep staff and customers safe, please see the “What the Library Is Doing” section below.
  • Lower Occupancy Levels: Branches will determine occupancy levels based on social distancing guidelines from local health departments. Occupancy level will be posted. Customers may experience wait times for public computers.
  • Visit Length: Customers are asked to stay no longer than 90 minutes due to reduced occupancy levels to allow others access to services. 
  • Operating hours: Hours on the branch location pages reflect the current opening and closing times.

How to Return Materials

MCPL book drops at all branches (except Farview Neighborhood Library, the Blue Ridge Branch, and the Colbern Road Branch until it reopens in late May) are accepting returns of previously checked-out items. 

  • Customers may return items in either indoor or outdoor book drops at any open branch or at desks inside.
  • The Library is not accepting donations at this time.

How to Pick Up Holds

Physical materials that have been placed on hold may be picked up inside in the branch or through curbside or drive-up window service. 

If you have received a notice by email or via postcard that materials you have on hold are available, please use the following procedures:

To pick-up holds inside the branch: 

  • Customers are required to wear masks inside the building to pick up and check-out their holds.  

To use drive-up window service:

  1. Proceed to the drive-up window.
  2. Staff will pass items to you in a plastic bag supplied by the Library.

To use curbside service:

  1. Call the MCPL branch where your hold is available to notify them that you would like to pick up your holds. You will be asked to confirm your Library card number and other account information.  
  2. Follow signage as directed to curbside service.
  3. Call the branch to let them know you have arrived. Remain in your vehicle or maintain social distancing of at least six feet from other customers and Library staff while you wait for service. 
  4. Staff will bring your held items to your vehicle or pass them to you in a plastic bag supplied by the Library.

Returned items can be placed in the outdoor or indoor book drops, and staff may accept items directly from customers at the desk. 

Holds Policy and Information During Curbside Service

While customers are now welcome to visit the branch for quick independent browsing to pick out Library materials, they are also welcome to continue to place holds on books, movies, and CDs in the online catalog and then pick them up via curbside service.

  1. To place holds:
    • Visit the online catalog and put items on hold in advance.  
    • Although it is recommended that customers continue to use the online catalog, MCPL staff members at each branch will be available via phone to assist customers with placing holds.
       
  2. Hold limits on physical items: Customers may place holds on up to 400 physical items per account at a time. 
     
  3. Notification: When your hold becomes available, you will receive a notification from the Library by email or by post card (if you have elected that as an option) that your held items are available for pick-up. Customers will have 10 days from the day the hold item(s) became available to pick up these materials. 
     
  4. To learn how to use MCPL’s online catalog and place holds:

How to Handle Library Materials

How long does the COVID-19 virus live on Library materials?

The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is working with Batelle, a noted testing company and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) conducted a study to learn more about how the COVID-19 virus interacts with books, CDs, magazines, and other materials commonly found and used in libraries and museums. Learn more: https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/COVID-19-research-project.html

What should I do if I am concerned about having Library materials in my home? 

Current CDC guidelines allow the Library to check materials back into its collection when they are received.

  • First, consider switching to digital materials for the time being. eAudiobooks and eBooks, as well as streaming music and videos, are available through the Library’s website. 
  • Second, consider placing your checked-out items aside for another day or two, like you would with items that come from the grocery store. 
  • Finally, you might consider wearing a mask and gloves if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Can I clean the items once I bring them home?

Customers are asked not to expose Library materials to disinfectants, extreme heat (like from an oven), microwaves, or other chemicals that can damage books, CDs, and DVDs, leading to charges against your account. Most items have metal RFID tags that could catch on fire in a microwave oven. 

Sanitizing wipes may be used to carefully wipe plastic covers of books (not the pages), and DVD or CD cases.   

What The Library Is Doing To Keep Customers and Staff Safe

For the safety of our team and our community, we are: 

  • Requiring all staff, customers and visitors to wear masks covering the nose and mouth throughout their time in a Library location.
  • Discouraging customers from visiting if they are ill or are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test. 
  • Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces throughout the day.
  • Following social distancing protocols and limiting the time of staff interactions with customers.
  • Requiring staff to stay home if they feel ill.
  • Continuing contactless pick-up of materials.
  • Closing branches for deep cleaning if a staff member’s COVID-19 diagnosis is confirmed.
  • Continuing curbside pick-up of materials.
  • Scheduling regular cleanings of branch buildings 

The health and safety of you and our staff is our highest priority!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to wear a mask?
    • Due to the ongoing public health concerns related to COVID-19 in the Kansas City area, and for the safety of customers, including those who may be part of a vulnerable population, and our staff, we are requiring all visitors, including our vendors, to wear masks covering the nose and mouth throughout their time in a Library location. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided to wear during your visit.
  • Are branch buildings open to the public? 
    • Beginning Wednesday, February 24, customers may visit branches to independently browse for books, movies, and CDs in addition to using technology services, including public computers, fax machines, printers, and copiers, and will also be operating curbside or drive-up window service. Wi-Fi is available in the parking lots. Self-check kiosks can be used to pay bills and check out materials. 
    • Returns can be placed either in indoor or outdoor book drops or returned at branch desks.
    • Holds can be picked up in the branch or through curbside and drive-up window service.  
  • What can I NOT do inside the Library? 
    • Reserve or use a meeting or community room
    • Read Library periodicals, including magazines and newspapers
    • Move Library furniture
  • Are book drops open to return items? 
    • Yes, all book drops in the branch are open for returns, as well as those outside. Book drops are not available at Farview Neighborhood Library, Midwest Genealogy Center, or at branches undergoing renovation, but items can be returned at any MCPL branch.
  • Is the Library still quarantining returns?   
    • As of May 3, the Library is no longer quarantining returned items. 
  • What hours are Library services available?
  • May I pick up another person's holds for them?
    • Yes, you may pick up another person’s materials as long as you can verify the customer's information. You will need the library card of the person whose items you are picking up as well as their name, address, phone number, and birthday.
  • I use both digital and physical items. Do holds on digital books and audiobooks impact the number of holds I can have on physical items?
    • No, the number of digital items you have on hold is separate from physical items.
  • I haven’t placed a hold in the online catalog before. How can I learn to do that?
  • How is the Library decontaminating materials and cleaning surfaces?
    • Although the Library is no longer quarantining returned materials, high-touch surfaces are being regularly cleaned throughout the day, and Library locations will continue to be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. 
  •  How long does the COVID-19 virus live on Library books?
    • On porous surfaces, studies report inability to detect viable virus within minutes to hours and the CDC has determined that transfer of the virus through contact with physical materials is very low. 
    • What should I do if I am concerned about having Library materials in my home? 
      • First, consider switching to digital materials for the time being. eAudiobooks and eBooks, as well as streaming music and videos, are available through the Library’s website. 
      • Second, consider placing your checked-out items aside for another day or two, like you would with items that come from the grocery store. 
      • Finally, you might consider wearing a mask and gloves if that makes you feel more comfortable.
      • Customers are asked not to expose Library materials to disinfectants, extreme heat (like from an oven), microwaves, or other chemicals that can damage books, CDs, and DVDs, leading to charges against your account. Most items have metal RFID tags that could catch on fire in a microwave oven. 
      • Sanitizing wipes may be used to carefully wipe plastic covers of books (not the pages), and DVD or CD cases.   
  • Will my AARP tax help session be rescheduled?
    • Unfortunately, AARP will not be resuming tax help at the Library before the tax deadline on July 15. At this time, they are not scheduling any face to-face appointments. For more information, visit the AARP Tax-Aide website or call them at 1-888-227-7669.
  • Is the Library’s Wi-Fi still working? 
    • Yes, Wi-Fi can be accessed inside and outside each MCPL branch from the parking lot, but we ask that anyone coming to utilize this to maintain social distancing. In addition, customers will be allowed to be inside MCPL branches a maximum of 90 minutes per day.
  • Have you added more choices to your eBooks and eAudiobooks? 
    • We are currently making more than 185,000 titles available to customers digitally, including children’s eBooks, and continue to add new ones. Customers can also access streaming video as well as digital books for children through Tumblebook Library and Bookflix.
  • I had a Library card at one time, but I don’t remember my number and/or I don’t know my PIN (password). What do I do? 
    • Library accounts no longer expire, so if you still have your most recent Library account number, you can use it for ALL digital services.
    • If you no longer have your account/card number (or the one you have is not working), email your name, current address, phone number, email address, and date of birth to info@mymcpl.org to get assistance from a staff member. They will reply within 24 hours when possible.
    • A PIN is not needed to check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, eComics, streaming video, or use databases/online resources. Some of those services require customers to set up an account, but that is separate from your MCPL card number account.
    • A PIN is needed to request materials through the Mid-Continent Public Library catalog. If you have forgotten your PIN, you can use the “Forgot your PIN?” in our online catalog.
  • Can I get help from the Library with my personal electronic device or using online resources?
    • Staff may be able to help if they can maintain social distance and can solve an issue quickly. If not, you may send and email including your name and phone number to info@mymcpl.org, and a Library representative will be in touch within 24 hours.  
    • In-person assistance that requires less than six feet between staff and customers for a long period of time is not available at this time for safety reasons.  

Using Your Library Remotely

All customers are encouraged to take advantage of the Library’s digital resources available for adults, teens, and children: 

  • Virtual Programs
    • MCPL is presenting a variety of virtual programs for children and adults on its social media pages.   For a complete list of virtual programs, visit mymcpl.org/events.

    • A variety of programs, including Storytimes are also available to view on the Library’s YouTube channel.

  • eBooks and eAudiobooks
    • Download the OverDrive or Libby app from the App Store or Google Play Store to access eAudiobooks and eBooks from the Library.
    • Create an account with RBdigital Audiobooks or RBdigital Comics, then download the RBdigital app to access eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and eComics in one place.
  • eMagazines and eNewspapers
  • eMovies and Streaming Video
  • eMusic
    • Stream and download music from Freegal Music and other online services.
  • eResearch

Learn more at mymcpl.org/GoDigital. 

You may email info@mymcpl.org for assistance with online resources. 

If you don’t have a Mid-Continent Public Library card, you can get immediate access to our online services by signing up for a CardNote: if you already have an MCPL card, you do not need to sign up for a card online. If you have lost your card, email info@mymcpl.org.

Keep in touch and get more information about what the Library has to offer by following our social media accounts.
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Virtual Learning Support

The Library has many resources available to help parents and caregivers faced with the challenge of continuing classroom work or learning. Our Library staff have developed an age-specific list of resources.

MCPL has a variety of resources to help, including Live Homework Help from Tutor.com, which offers students access to live, online tutors who can help both English and Spanish-speaking students in grades K-12 with many subjects. Tutors are available every day from noon to midnight. 

Connect to all student resources at mymcpl.org/homework.

Keeping You Updated

The Library will continue to monitor the recommendations of health officials through this COVID-19 outbreak and will make decisions about services with the highest priority given to the health and safety of our staff, customers, and communities. We know it is a challenging time, and we’ll work hard to continue to communicate further changes in our services.

You also can monitor the Library’s website and/or follow the Library on social media.
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Ways to Keep Yourself and Your Community Healthy

  • Wearing a face covering in public according to local health department guidelines.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash right away.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-90% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain social distancing (six feet).
  • Contact a health professional if you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. 

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control

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Community Resources

COVID-19 Health Update for Jackson, Clay, & Platte Counties

State of Missouri Recovery Plan

Jackson County:

Clay County:

Platte County:

MARC:

Domestic Violence Resources

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, here are several resources that can help:

Volunteer Information

To find ways to give back to the community during this time, see the United Way of Kansas City’s list of volunteer opportunities in the metro: 

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