Reopening Updates

COVID-19 Updates, FAQ & At-Home Resources

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Reopening Updates

Updated May 2, 2021

Our buildings are now open for book browsing! Plus, you can make appointments for our Studio, 4th Floor Makerspace, U.S. Passports Acceptance Office, and Local History and Genealogy.

Book Browsing

We are so excited to offer browsing again at our Main/Downtown, Northgate, Eastgate, and South Chattanooga locations. We do have a few guidelines to keep everyone safe:

  • Masks are required while inside the building, in accordance with Mayor Tim Kelly’s Executive Order 2021-17.
  • Social distance by using the pinwheels found on our floors.
  • Leave all food or drinks outside.
  • Don’t leave children unattended during your visit.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Place items that you do not want to checkout on a return cart.

Furniture and charging stations are not accessible at this time, but we do encourage those who need to charge devices to reserve a public computer station. 

Studio and 4th Floor

Our Main/Downtown Library is taking appointments for The Studio and 4th Floor Makerspace. 

To schedule time in our Recording Studio, click here to fill out our Open Studio Application. Once we get it, you’ll receive an email with all the info you need before you come in. A current library card is required. For more information, visit The Studio page

To schedule time in our 4th Floor Makerspace, call 423-643-7753 or email One of our Makerspace Specialists will get back to you as soon as possible. A current library card is required for a number of stations. For more information, visit the 4th Floor page.

Public Computer Access

A limited number of computers are available for 45-minute computer sessions. These stations are set up for social distancing and with special equipment that will be disinfected after each use. The number of computers available at each location are:

  • Main/Downtown: 6 computers
  • Eastgate: 4 computers
  • Northgate: 3 computers
  • South Chattanooga: 2 computers

Limited Public Services

Printing, copying, faxing, and notary appointments are available at Main/Downtown, Eastgate, Northgate, and South Chattanooga locations.

U.S. Passports Acceptance Office and Local History and Genealogy

Our Main/Downtown Library is taking appointments for the U.S. Passports Acceptance Office and the Local History and Genealogy Department. 

For new passports and renewals: call 423-643-7724 to make an appointment or click here to learn more on our Services page.

For Local History research: call 423-643-7725 or email to make an appointment.

We require people to wear a mask and follow all posted health-related guidelines. Browsing for items and other library services are still on hold, so we encourage everyone to use Curbside Concierge to checkout materials. 

Curbside Concierge

Curbside pickup of books, tools, media and Take & Make kits is available at Main/Downtown, Eastgate, Northgate, and South Chattanooga locations.

For information about Curbside pickup, click here to visit our new Curbside Concierge page.

We appreciate everyone’s patience during this unique time. For future reopenings, we ask that you stay tuned for updates!

Don’t forget that we have a wide variety of online resources, including audiobooks, ebooks, music, movies, homework help, and so much more. Also, visit our events page for online programs and Make. Play. Read. Learn!

For city-related updates and to sign-up for text message updates regarding COVID-19, please visit the City’s Connect page.

Frequently Asked Questions

» When will the library reopen?

We are now open for limited public computer access, limited public services, passport appointments, Local History research appointments, and Curbside Concierge services which include pickup for books, tools, media and Take & Make kits. Other library services are still on hold, but please check back for updates.

» I received a hold notification. How do I pick it up?

By using our Curbside Concierge service! Click here for instructions.

» How do I place a hold online? 

If you haven’t used our online catalog before, watch this short tutorial that will show you how to search for and place holds on items. Click here to watch.

» What should I do with the books I currently have?

Return them! All book drops are open, so when you’re finished with your items, please return them to our book drops so that items can be quarantined before being placed back into circulation.

» I returned my items but they haven’t been cleared from my account. Why is there a delay?

All items returned in the Library’s book drops are quarantined for 24 hours to ensure they are safe for staff to handle. Once the quarantine period passes, we check in the items and adjust the date to reflect when your items were placed in the book drop. No fines will accrue while items are quarantined.

» My library card is about to expire so I won’t be able to checkout e-materials. What should I do?

Please click on the “Renew your Card” link  in the top right corner on our webpage.

» Do I need to sanitize my items before returning them to the book drops? 

No need! When we receive your items, they will be set aside and left untouched for 24 hours. Research and testing have proven that the virus is undetectable on surfaces after one day and on paper inside books after 24 hours. Please do not use disinfectant on your items or other methods. Microwaving items will destroy them.

» Will I owe overdue fines?

Fines were suspended through June 30, 2020. After June 30, please return your checked out items by their due date via our library book drops. Tools need to be dropped off at curbside pickup tables.

» How can I get information about the library operations?

Right here! Check our reopening updates often for the most current information.

» I have fines on my account, so I cannot use my card.

Fines can be paid online or through curbside pickup at one of our locations. To pay online, please click on the “Pay Fines” link at the top of our webpage.

» I don’t have a card at all. How can I get a new library card?

Please click on the “Get a Library Card” link in the top right corner on our webpage. After completing the online application, email copies of your identification (driver’s license, state identification etc.) to If the address on the identification is incorrect, please include in your email something showing your name with the correct address such as a utility bill, a lease agreement, or a tax bill. If you are unable to email documents, please bring them to the curbside pickup area at one of our locations. Non-residents do have a $50.00 fee that can be paid online or through curbside pickup once your account is set up.

Additional Resources

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