Covid-19 Library Updates & FAQ

Book Drops Open

  • Book drops are open 24/7 at Bear River, Grass Valley, Madelyn Helling, Penn Valley and Truckee  branches (with the exception of Doris Foley Historical  Research Library) 
  • Items return exceptions are kits, telescopes, microscope and oversized materials that don’t fit in the book drops.  Please keep these items until the library opens to the public and you’re able to bring them inside. There will be no fines charged on any of these items when they are returned.
  • Please remember to maintain 6 feet of distance between other library users while waiting to return materials.

Curbside and Front Door Pick-up 

  • Curbside (in vehicle) is available at Madelyn Helling and Truckee Libraries Monday-Friday 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. 
  • Front door pick-up is available at Grass Valley Library Monday-Friday 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Curbside in (in vehicle) is available at Bear River Library Monday-Friday Noon to 3:00 PM.
  •  Front door pick-up is available at Penn Valley Library Monday-Friday Noon to 3:00 PM.
  •  All pick-ups must be scheduled 24 hours in advance.
  •  Call your branch location between Noon - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday to schedule pickup and handle inquires.
  • Doris Foley Library for Historical Research remains closed. 


Q: How Does Curbside Work at Bear River, Madelyn Helling, and Truckee Branches?

  1. Place a hold through the library catalog or call your branch library to place a hold. (See instructions below on how to place a hold online.)
  2. Wait to be notified by text or email that your items are ready.
  3. Call the library to schedule your holds pick-up the day before you want to pick up your hold. Locations are open for pick-up from Noon to 3 PM, Monday-Friday.
  4. Drive to the library, park in a designated parking spot, and call the phone number on the parking lot sign. Staff will ask for your library card number or verify your information. Those using curbside pick up should display their last name on the dashboard of their car for verification.
  5. Library staff will bring bagged items out to your car. Please do not get out of your car. To ensure a contactless pickup, please open your trunk or back hatch to indicate where we may place your items. Alternatively, we can place the items on the hood of your car. Please wait until the staff member has returned to their previous position, either inside the building or in the library staging area, before taking your materials.

Q: How Does Front Door Pickup Work at Grass Valley and Penn Valley?

  1. Place a hold through the library catalog or call your branch location to place a hold. (See instructions below on how to place a hold online.)
  2. Wait to be notified by text or email that your items are ready.
  3. Call the library to schedule your holds pick-up the day before you want to pick up your hold. Locations are open for pick-up from Noon to 3 PM, Monday-Friday.
  4. Walk-Up to the designated taped lines near the front entrances of Grass Valley or Penn Valley and call the number on the sign to alert staff you are here to pickup your items. Please stand at the designated taped lines to adhere to social distancing practices.
  5. Staff will set the bag of your items in front of the door. You may pick them up after we close the door. This is to ensure a contactless pickup.

Q:  How Do I Place a Hold Online?

  1. Visit the library catalog.
  2. Click Log In in the upper right corner of your screen. Enter your library card number and PIN. If you do not know your PIN, call your respective branch and ask for your PIN to be reset. You will be asked for your library card number and a 4-digit number to set your PIN.
  3. Click Search and type in a keyword, title, author’s name, etc. to find the item you would like to check out.
  4. On the search results, you will see the system availability and/or the number of holds on the item. This will give you an idea if the item is currently available at one of our branches or if there will be a wait time.
  5. Select Place Request. Confirm your pickup branch and activation date.
  6. Note: If the item is not available, you may still place a hold but it is currently checked out and won’t be available until it is returned. You will receive a notification (i.e. e-mail or text) when your item is available to be picked up.

Q: Will I be charged for late items? Can I pay off fines through curbside checkout?

A: No. All due dates were extended so you did not accrue fines while we were closed. All fines will be waived through June 18, 2020. We are not currently taking any payments for old fines or fees in order to ensure the safety of our staff and patrons.

Q: What kinds of safety precautions are being used?
A: Library items are being quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before they are checked in and available for others to use. This procedure is to ensure the safety of our staff and patrons, so please be patient while waiting for certain items.

Library staff are observing social distancing while in the library, washing hands regularly, and are wearing gloves and masks. The library staff member who delivers your items curbside will be wearing a mask and gloves and will limit contact while giving you your items. Additionally, we are disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in the library on an hourly basis.

The Nevada County Community is following guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Library Association (ALA), and the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC).

Q: I’m accustomed to browsing in the library. Can I get help picking out books? 
A: Yes. E-mail us at or call your respective branch to tell us what type of books you are interested in and we can help you. Also, provide us with pertinent information such as I’m seeking books for my 5 year old emerging reader or I really like Rhys Bowen mysteries.

Q. Will all library materials be available for checkout?

A: During our initial opening phase, books, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs are available for checkout. Children’s Learning to Go Kits, telescopes, and microscopes are NOT available.

Q. What if I want a book that isn’t in your collection? Can I use Link+ or an InterLibrary Loan?

A. Unfortunately, in order to safeguard the safety of our patrons and staff we will not be processing any Link+ borrowing at this time. Interlibrary Loans requests are accepted at this time using our online request form.

Q. What about library programs and events like storytime or Summer Learning?

A. In order to meet the needs of the community for library events while maintaining social distance we have created a number of online options for our patrons, including a virtual storytime and Summer Learning Program. Please check our event calendar, Facebook page, or contact your local library branch for more information.

Q. Can I use a library computer?

A. We are unable to allow access to the building or our library computers during curbside checkout. All branches do have wifi that is available in parking areas. We do ask that you remain in your car while using the wifi in order to maintain proper social distancing.

Q: Can I drop off book donations?
A: No. We are not accepting any donations at this time.

Q. Can I use your restrooms?

A: No. All library facilities are closed to the public.

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