NYPL How-To: Requesting Items for Pickup at Your Local Branch


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Did you know? You can get books and more delivered to your local branch for pickup!

It’s easy and convenient to get the books you need. Just follow these five simple steps to request physical items from the Library’s online catalog (also known as “placing a hold”)—then pick them up from any open branch that’s convenient for you!

There are two ways to request items by placing a hold: online or by phone. To request items online, follow the steps below. To request items by phone, call Ask NYPL (917-275-6975) or call one of our open branches directly. Find a location near you.

New! The Library no longer charges late fines on overdue materials! Learn more.

Please note: masks are encouraged at all New York Public Library locations.



Request Items Online



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Step 1: Search

  • Search the Library's catalog for books or other materials—including DVDs, CDs, and more!
    • Don’t know what you are looking for? Try Shelf Help, NYPL’s new personalized book-selection service!
    • Want to access NYPL while you're on-the-go? Download our app!




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Step 2: Request Your Item

  • Request the item or items you want by clicking the "Place Hold" button next to your item in the Library’s catalog.
  • You will be prompted to log in if you have not done so already.
    • Don't have a library card yet? Apply for a library card today and start checking out materials. Some restrictions apply.



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Step 3: Choose Your Pickup Location





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Step 4: Be Notified When Your Materials Are Ready

  • We'll bring your requested item to your chosen location. You'll receive an email when it is ready for you to get it.
  • Don’t go to the library for pickup until you receive this email confirmation.
  • It can take several days or more for available materials to arrive at your selected branch. If all copies of your requested item are already checked out, you will be added to a wait list until it's your turn.
  • You can log into your online account to check the status of your requested items (or "holds”), see where they’ll be sent for pickup, and see where you are on any wait lists.




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Step 5: Pick Up Your Items

  • When you visit your selected branch to pick up your requested item, it will be on the Holds Shelf. Follow the signs or ask a staff member if you don't know where to go!
  • Find your item by using the last four digits of your library card number.
  • Please note: you must check out your item using one of our checkout processes before leaving: express self-checkout, staff-assisted checkout, or the new NYPL app.
    • For the fastest and easiest service, download the NYPL app today!



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The New York Public Library offers a personalized book selection service through Shelf Help. Fill out the online form, call Ask NYPL, or drop off a request form at your local branch to request a bundle of books, handpicked for you based on your interests. Await our signal, then pick up your bundle of five recommended reads.



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