Contact-Free Returns

Good news! Outside book drops are now open. You also may return items inside the Main Library, Mondays-Saturdays, 10 am-6 pm.

Contact-Free Returns with return items here sign and table with a book in a box

Book drops open

You may now return items to outside library book drops. Please note: You are responsible for items left outside of any book drops. If a book drop is closed or full, please do not leave items next to or on top of the drop. Thank you!

Book drops are located:

  • Outside the Main Library main entrance
  • In Village of Oak Park Parking Lot 55 (at North Boulevard between Kenilworth and Oak Park avenues). See on Google Maps »
  • Outside Maze Branch on Gunderson Avenue
  • Outside Dole Branch on Augusta Street

Now that the library has entered Service Level 2, you also may choose to return items inside the Main Library. Once inside, place returned items in boxes on a table in the vestibule or the lobby.

Book drop outside the Main Library
Return items outside the Main Library entrance. Or come inside the lobby and leave items in specially marked boxes.

How does it work?

You may return all formats of materials from all libraries.

We are accepting returns only inside the Main Library vestibule and lobby, and in outside book drops. 

Returns cannot be accepted by staff who are bringing holds to your vehicle, and you cannot leave your returns at the holds pickup table. More about contact-free holds pickup »

All returned materials are quarantined inside the library for at least 3 days before they are checked in. As in pre-pandemic times, you will not receive confirmation that your items have been returned. You can check your library account after 10 days to confirm that items are no longer on your account.

We are asking anyone bringing returns to the Main Library to please:

  • Wear a face covering.
  • Follow all posted signs, pavement markings, and staff instruction.
  • Keep a 6-foot distance from others.

Please know that:

  • Staff and patrons have no physical contact. 
  • All physical library materials are quarantined for a minimum of 3 days before being put back into circulation for the next user.

Our top priorities for library staff to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Physical distancing
  • Frequent disinfecting of common surfaces
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) 

 In addition:

  • Before reporting to work, staff are required to fill out a daily health screening form and will come to work only if they (and household members) are healthy and have not knowingly been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.
  • A limited number of staff are allowed in the building at the same time.
  • Proper physical distancing practices are in place.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided.
  • High-touch workspaces are regularly cleaned with disinfectant.
  • Don’t microwave library items. Most have RFID tags that can catch on fire in a microwave.
  • Don’t leave library materials in a hot car, as extreme heat can damage them.
  • Don’t expose library items to ultraviolet light, which also can damage them.
  • Don’t spray library items with disinfectant, which can damage covers and pages. You may use sanitizing wipes on plastic book covers and DVD and CD cases.

All physical library materials are quarantined for a minimum of 3 days before being put back into circulation for the next user. And among other safety guidelines, our staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and routinely disinfect high-touch surfaces.

To limit in-person contact for patrons and staff, we will not be able to answer account or reference questions when you return materials.

Please continue to contact us online, through our new website chat service (hours vary), and at 708.383.8200 for account assistance.

Looking ahead

After August 12, Oak Park cardholders will be able to place holds on materials from other SWAN member libraries and submit interlibrary loan requests. 

When staff returned to the Main Library on June 1, the first priority was to fulfill Oak Park requests for Oak Park materials. Through this work, and after fulfilling thousands of requests through Contact-Free Holds Pickup, we will soon be prepared to fulfill interlibrary loans between Oak Park and other SWAN libraries. We thank you for your patience and for continuing to use your public library during these stressful and unusual times.

Based on the library’s plan to safely reintroduce services and reopen buildings, we are now in Service Level 2.

Right now, only the Main Library is open to the public with specific capacity limits and some onsite staff for materials and technology support, with public computer use by appointment only. More about the current Service Level 2 »

In Service Level 3, Dole & Maze branches will reopen, with smaller-scale public meetings and library programs beginning and study room use only by appointment. Also in Service Level 3, there will be full access to materials stacks and special collections.

However, we do not have dates for future service levels yet, as the library continues to monitor recommendations from local and national health authorities for guidance in our next steps and when we can introduce the next service level in our plan. Learn more »

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