How to Grab & Go at The New York Public Library


As part of The New York Public Library’s gradual reopening following our temporary closure due to COVID-19, we are pleased to announce that we are now offering Grab and Go service at 50 of our branches across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

Grab and Go is a contactless checkout and return service that allows patrons to pick up requested materials and return items at these open locations while maintaining a safe distance from each other and staff. Please note that our open branches are available for holds pick ups and returns only. At this time, we are not able to offer book browsing, public computer usage, public programs, or use of restrooms.

Check out the steps below to learn more about using the Grab and Go services. For more details, including finding your library card number, instructions on the hold process, or anything else, check out our FAQ.

Browse the full list of current Grab and Go locations.



Light blue square with a white circle in the middle and a red icon of a library facade

Step 1: Check which NYPL locations are open for Grab & Go

  • Visit our list of open locations and find the one that’s most convenient for you.




Light blue square with a white circle in the middle and a red icon of a desktop computer and a phone

Step 2: Use our online catalog to request materials by placing a hold

  • All materials must be requested ahead of time online or over the phone.
  • Use your library card number to login to your account and place holds on the materials you want.
  • To place over-the-phone holds, call Ask NYPL (917-275-6975) or your chosen branch.
  • There is currently no book browsing in branches.





Light blue square with a white circle in the middle and a red icon of an envelope with a notification

Step 3: Wait for email notification that your materials are ready

  • Do not go to the library for pick-up until you receive the confirmation.
  • It can take several days or longer for materials placed on hold to become available
  • Use your online account to check the status of holds you’ve placed and where they’ll be sent for pickup.
  • Once available, your materials will immediately be checked out to you for easy contactless pick up




Light blue square with a white circle in the middle and a red icon of a hand grabbing books from a shelf

Step 4: Go to your library to pick up your item from the holds area

  • Don’t forget to wear your face covering!
  • Find your materials, organized by the last four digits of your library card number, in the designated area.
  • There’s no need to ask librarians to check out your materials. Just grab them from the shelf—and go!
  • Unclaimed items will be removed from the shelves and your account. You will not be held responsible for them at any point.



Light blue square with a white circle in the middle and a red icon of a hand putting a book in a box

For returns: Materials can be brought back to any open location

  • You can return NYPL items by leaving them in the marked returns bins at the branch.
  • Please note that returned items will be placed in quarantine for 96 hours (4 days) before being recirculated, as per the latest guidance from safety experts.
  • Remember, fines are suspended until at least January 1, 2021.



Light blue square with a white circle in the middle and a red icon of a person wearing a face mask

Know Before You Go

  • Properly worn masks or face coverings are required
  • Please follow all NYPL’s safety guidelines
  • We are open for materials pickup and returns
  • Sorry, there’s no browsing, computers, or seating at this time



The Library’s contactless process of placing holds, picking up materials, and returning them at our 50 grab-and-go locations is meant to be easy, convenient, and safe for our patrons and staff alike.


Find out more information about our:

Photo of a library lion statue with a face mask on

Reopening Plan

As part of New York City’s reopening, NYPL is continuing the careful, phased process of returning limited service to its physical locations after temporarily closing due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Photo of a hand holding an iPhone with SimplyE app on the screen

Resources Available Online

Discover the Library's wide range of digital resources — including e-books, databases, our Digital Collections, and more.