Library Services and COVID-19

This page includes information on alterations to library services due to COVID-19. For community information about COVID-19 including public health information, business/personal assistance, food, and more, please visit our COVID-19 page HERE.

Beginning Tuesday March 1, 2021, Libraries move to Phase III.
All Memphis Public Libraries locations will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.


  • Building capacity is limited
    • Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library: 200
    • Bartlett, Cordova, East Shelby, Whitehaven: 40
    • All other branches: 20
  • Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a caregiver at least 17 years of age or older.
  • Avoid visiting the Library if you have a cough, fever, or other signs/symptoms of COVID-19.
  • As mandated by COM COVID Building Screening directive, temperature screening of all employees, visitors, third-party contractors and other individuals are required to gain entry to all library locations.

social distancing

  • Workspaces will be spaced and sectioned off to ensure a 6-foot distance between each station. Elevators and escalators will be limited to a 2-person capacity.
  • Maintain a minimum six-foot distance between individuals, or entire household units of up to six persons defined as residing at the same address, and other individuals.
  • Sneeze or cough into a cloth or tissue or, if unavailable, into one’s arm.
  • Do not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact.

masks – sanitizing

  • While supplies last, masks are available for our customers for use inside the Library.
  • Masks are required to use library facilities.
  • All library staff will be required to wear face masks.
  • All libraries will have hand sanitizer conveniently located throughout the facility for guest usage.
  • Staff will be regularly sanitizing all surfaces and work stations in efforts to keep library patrons safe and healthy.


  • Study Rooms are not available.
  • Meeting Rooms at Benjamin L. Hooks available for limited use. Visit our Meeting Rooms page for further information.
  • Computers available with limited staff interaction.
  • Customers can visit our Library Events page for virtual programs. In-person programming will resume at a later date yet to be determined.
  • Customers may place holds and check out material. Some collection restrictions are in place. Magazines, Newspapers, and archival collections are unavailable for browsing. Please check with the History Department at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library for specifics on archival access.

children’s book bundles

  • Can’t browse our shelves? Need a bundle of books for your child? Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll grab a bundle for you.
  • Please our Book Bundles page for more information.

curbside pick-up

library card registration, renewal, & pin

  • You may obtain and renew a Library Card in person; however, we are still offering courtesy online card renewals for 1 year without the need to provide documentation requirements.
  • As always, residents of Shelby County age 13 and up are invited to register online for a Library Card and begin using our online services immediately.
  • Our Start Here page includes information on obtaining a new library card, submitting a request to renew your library card, and what to do if you do not know your PIN.

elderly and/or immunocompromised

  • Contact your local library branch to organize special aid such as curbside drop-offs or dedicated computer use times.

second editions bookstore inside of the Benjamin L Hooks library

  • HOURS: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Tuesday – Saturday
  • CAPACITY: limited to 7 people at one time.

summary of online offerings

  • Visit our eCollection page for instructions on accessing our eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines.
  • Visit our Learn page for a breakdown of services by topics such as Business/Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Job and Career, and much more.
  • Don’t have a Library Card? Sign up for an online card and use it immediately.
  • If you have any questions, you can submit your question online.