Covid-19 Library Updates & FAQS

In response to recommendations made by Public Health Guidelines and as a precaution to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), in-person services including Book Browsing and Grab and Go are temporarily suspended.

The safety of our patrons and staff is a priority at Nevada County Community Libraries.  Nevada County Community Libraries offer limited services at most branches including the ability to place holds by phone, return materials and check out items.  Exact details for delivery of service vary from branch to branch depending on design of building, accessibility of parking, and availability of staff. At this time, only library staff may enter the buildings.  For information about services at your local library branch, please call the branch during the adjusted hours of operation, which are listed on the library website. 


  • Effective November 16th curbside is available at  Truckee Library Monday-Friday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. 
  • Front door pick-up is available at Grass Valley and Madelyn Helling Library Monday-Friday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Curbside is available at Bear River Library Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 1:00 PM  to 4:00 PM.
  • Front door pick-up is available at Penn Valley Library Monday-Friday 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • Pick-ups should be scheduled 24 hours in advance.
  • Call your branch location to schedule pickup and handle inquires.
  • Doris Foley Library for Historical Research remains closed. 


  • Outdoor book browsing is currently suspended until further notice.


  • Patrons may return items to book drops 24/7 (with the exception of Doris Foley Historical  Research Library) 
  • Item return exceptions are microscope and over-sized 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.
  • Telescopes that are checked out may be returned by calling your branch location to schedule a return time.
  • Please remember to maintain 6 feet of distance between other library users while waiting to return materials.
  • All items are quarantined for 96 hours before checking back in.  This is in accordance with the CDC recommendations.


  • Mobile hotspots are now available for checkout at Nevada County Community Library.  Access the internet at home or on the go.  Click here for details.


Q: How Does Curbside Work at Bear River 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, inbox, or mailbox for a notification letting you know your items have been checked out and are ready for you to pick them up at your designated library location. 
  3. Call the library to schedule your holds pick-up the day before you want to pick up your hold. 
  4. Drive to the library, park in a designated parking spot, and call the phone number on the parking lot sign. Staff will 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 items out to your car. Please do not get out of your car. To ensure a no contact pickup, please open the 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, Madelyn Helling 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, inbox, or mailbox for a notification letting you know your items have been checked out and are ready for you to pick them up at your designated library location. 
  3. Call the library to schedule your holds pick-up the day before you want to pick up your hold.
  4. Penn Valley Library does not require a scheduled time, just come by during our open hours to pick up holds. 
  5. Walk-Up to the designated areas near the front entrances of Grass Valley, Madelyn Helling or Penn Valley.  Alert staff you are here to pickup your items. Please stand 6 feet away as to adhere to social distancing practices.
  6. Staff will set the bag of your items in front of the door. 

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: 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 and we are not currently taking any payments for old fines or fees in order to ensure the safety of our staff and patrons.

Q: I heard you were no longer charging overdue/ late fees. Is that true?

A: Yes, the Nevada County Community Library system has chosen to temporarily suspend overdue fees during the COVID-19 health crisis. Until further notice library items may be returned up to 5 months after your first check out and no fines will be charged. 

Q: Are Link+ and ILL items included in waived fees?

A:  Link+ or ILL items may still accrue fines as these are loaned out by other libraries and not under the control of the Nevada County Community Library. We encourage you to return these items in a timely manner in order to avoid any fees. If you run into any issues with these items, please refer to our staff.

 Q: Why 5 months?

A: At 6 months our library software will automatically set any unreturned items to lost. To avoid this, please call your local library branch before the 5-month mark or return your items to the library book drops.

Q: I lost / damaged a book. Will I still be charged a fee?

A: Fees for lost and damaged books will still accrue. We ask that you try your best to locate the item/ bring it back undamaged, but we understand that mistakes do happen. Please call your local branch for more information about lost or damaged fees.

Q: Why are you doing this?

A We understand that this is a troubling time for many people and want to make using the library as easy as possible. By suspending our overdue fees during the health crisis, we are allowing those who wish to shelter in place time to return books when they feel it is the safest to do so. This will also give those who may be struggling financially peace of mind when checking out library materials.

Q: Shouldn’t people be returning books on time anyway? Won’t this cause people to keep their books forever?

A:  While we will not be charging overdue fines, the library will still send reminder emails and texts to patrons when their items are overdue and encourage them to return them in a timely fashion. A majority of library users already return their materials on time or sooner than the due date. In addition, other organizations that have eliminated fines have found that this change does not have an impact on when books are returned (source:  This an unprecedented time and we want to give our patrons some flexibility with their returns as many may be struggling to get them to the library on time.

Q: What kinds of safety precautions are being used?
A: Library items are being quarantined for a minimum of 96 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.

Please see the following for additional Information:

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.  Many of the branches are now offering an outdoor book browsing hour.  Items are brought outside for patrons to view and check out on the spot.  Check with your local branch for hours.  Outdoor browsing is subject to cancellation due to weather or poor air quality.

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. Link+ borrowing is available beginning August 3rd and all quarantine standards are being followed for items received. 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 virtual storytimes and online programs on our social media sites. . 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. The Friends of the Library and Library Staff are not accepting any donations at this time.

Q. Can I use your restrooms?

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

Q:  What if I have more questions that were not answered here?

A:  Please contact your local library branch if you have further questions.

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