HPL to Go

HPL to Go Frequently Asked Questions:

Requesting, Checking Out, and Returning Items

How do I request an item? 
To request an item, visit the online catalog or call the Information Desk at 510-881-7980 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
How many items can I request?
You can request up to 15 items per account.
Can I request items in person at the library?
If you'd like to visit us in person, please learn more about our HPL Express options.
How long will it take to receive the items I’ve requested?
Due to the volume of requests received, adherence to safety guidelines, and the processing and fulfillment of requests, it may take longer than usual for items to be available for pickup.
The status of your request can be accessed by logging into your account online, or by calling the Information Desk at 510-881-7980 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday.
What do each of the frequently seen status messages mean?
Items designated as Available are currently not checked out. 
Please disregard the designation Ready for Pickup. Items marked as such are likely in the library, but may not be available for requests processing for a number of days.
Why are the items I requested showing as “checked out” on my account?
In order to reduce contact between library staff and patrons, reserved items will be checked out to your account before you pick them up. 
How long will my items be held? What if I missed the deadline for pickup?
Materials requested through HPL to Go will be held for approximately 10 days. Items not picked up within the pickup period will be returned to the collection or pass to the next person with a hold on the item.
When can I pick up my items?
You will be notified by phone once your items are ready for pickup. Please wait to hear from us before coming to pick up your items! After you have been notified, your items may be picked up at the following days and times:
You may pick up during HPL Express or HPL to Go hours.  Please see our pickup calendar for available dates/times.

Please note: You must follow social distancing guidelines and be wearing a mask/facial covering to receive service. 
How long are items checked out?
Items are checked out for 4 weeks. However, items can be renewed up to three times unless another patron has placed a hold on the item. You will get a courtesy reminder email about the status of your items three days before they are due. You can also check the due date of your items by logging into your account.
Am I able to return my books?  Which book returns can I use?
All library materials (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.) may be returned to the Downtown Library or Weekes Branch. At the Downtown Library, please return items using OTTO (the automated returns system), located near the garage side library entrance. If OTTO is out of order, please return items to the wall return slot next to OTTO. At the Weekes Branch, please return items to the book boxes located on Patrick Avenue.
Are patrons being charged overdue fines?
No. Effective January 1, 2021, Hayward Public Library has eliminated overdue fines. Please note – fees are still being assessed for lost or damaged items. More information about library fees can be found here
I returned my items two days ago – why are they still showing on my account?
Due to quarantine requirements for returned library materials, items returned may take up to 5 days to be removed from checked out status on a patron’s library account.
Can I pick up items for a family member? 
Patrons can pick up requested items/holds for another person. Please have ready the first and last name, and last 4 digits of phone number associated with library account of the individual whose items are to be picked up. A library card/I.D. is not required to pick up HPL to Go items.
Link+ requests/holds can only be picked up by the individual who requested the items. Identity verification/an I.D. will be required to pick up Link+ items.
Link +
Can I place Link+ requests at this time?
Yes. Link+ service has been restored as of 8-3-20. Due to safety guidelines it may take longer for Link+ requests to arrive, and to be returned to the loaning library. Not all Link+ libraries have resumed service. A list of current participating libraries can be viewed at: https://csul.iii.com/screens/covid19reopen.html
How can I return Link+ items?
Link+ items can be returned to the Downtown Library. Please place these items in the wall return slot near OTTO (the automated returns system), as OTTO may not accept Link+ items.
Are patrons being charged fines on Link+ items?
No. Any Link+ fines that accrue will be cleared once items are returned.
Library Cards and Accounts
I have never had a library card – how do I get one?
Fill out the online application. We’ll create your new card and email the account information to you within a few business days, then mail the physical card to your home address.
Will staff be able to answer questions I have about my account when I come to pick up my held items?
No, for the health and safety of customers and staff, we will not be able to provide in-person assistance with any account questions or issues you may have. For assistance call us at 510-881-7980 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday, or via email at library@hayward-ca.gov
I lost my library card – can I get a new one?
Yes! Please call the Information Desk at 510-881-7980, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday or email library@hayward-ca.gov for assistance getting a new library card. 
My library card has expired – how do I renew it?
Please call the Information Desk at 510-881-7980, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday or email library@hayward-ca.gov for assistance.
General Questions
Are you taking donations? 
No. Until a system is in place to manage donated materials, we request that library patrons not bring donations to the library.
When will the library re-open?
Due to many considerations, including guidelines from the State of California, Alameda County and the City of Hayward – and in an effort to ensure the safety of both library employees and members of the community – Hayward Public Library will remain closed until all requirements for a safe reopening can be met. 
Is the library still holding programs/events?
Yes! While we are unable to hold in-person events, we are providing many online programs, including storytimes, crafts, and book discussion groups. Please visit our calendar for details.
Have more questions? Call us at 510-881-7980 or email library@hayward-ca.gov.
We hope to hear from you soon!