HPL TO GO - FAQ

What is HPL TO GO?
How do I schedule a curbside pickup appointment?
When does HPL TO GO begin?
What libraries are offering HPL TO GO?
Why is HPL TO GO not available at all library locations?
Who can use HPL TO GO?
How do I use HPL TO GO?

What if I don't have a MY Link card?
I do not know the PIN to my MY Link account.  How do I retrieve my PIN?
My child has a Learning Link account with HISD or Alief ISD. Can they use HPL TO GO?
How many items may I check out?
How do I pay the balance on my library account?
I received notification that my items are ready for pickup. When can I pick up my items?
How do I reserve items?
The online catalog does not allow me to place a hold on items.  What should I do?
What items are available for pickup?

How will I know that my hold items are ready for pickup?
How long do I have to pick up my items on hold before they expire?
It has been a week since I placed my items on hold. Why are my holds not ready for pickup?
Can I use HPL TO GO if I do not arrive in a vehicle?
Who can pick up my items that are ready for pickup?
Where do I return items?
I returned my items yesterday. Why are the items still listed on my account?
Can I suspend my holds until I’m ready to borrow books from the library again?
I have items on hold that I no longer want.  How do I cancel my holds?
Are you accepting book donations?
Can I clean the books I picked up from HPL TO GO?
What are the safety precautions your staff is taking?

What is HPL TO GO?

HPL TO GO is a curbside by appointment service that allows MY Link and Learning Link card holders the opportunity to pick up library materials from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles. To participate, simply place items on hold for pick-up at your preferred location online or over the phone. Once items are ready, schedule a time that works for you to pick them up at your preferred HPL TO GO location. 

How do I schedule a curbside pickup appointment?

Schedule your curbside pickup appointment here!

When does HPL TO GO begin?

HPL TO GO began on June 1, 2020 at ten library locations. For your convenience, the service will expand to an additional ten locations on July 6, 2020Holds can also be picked up at BookLink @ One Allen Center.

What libraries are offering HPL TO GO?

The following libraries will be participating:

  • BookLink @ One Allen Center (no appointment necessary) 
  • Bracewell Neighborhood Library  
  • Collier Regional Library  
  • Heights Neighborhood Library  
  • Henington-Alief Regional Library 
  • Hillendahl Neighborhood Library 
  • Johnson Neighborhood Library 
  • Jungman Neighborhood Library  
  • Looscan Neighborhood Library 
  • McGovern-Stella Link Regional Library 
  • Moody Neighborhood Library 
  • Park Place Regional Library 
  • Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library 
  • Scenic Woods Regional Library  
  • Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood Library 
  • Smith Neighborhood Library 
  • Stanaker Neighborhood Library 
  • Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library 
  • Tuttle Neighborhood Library  
  • Walter Neighborhood Library 
  • Young Neighborhood Library 

Why is HPL TO GO not available at all library locations?

HPL TO GO is the beginning of a phased approach to reestablish library services across the city. The safety of the community and staff is a priority for us. Continue to check our website for service updates.  

Who can use HPL TO GO?

HPL TO GO is a free service available to current MY Link and Learning Link card holders.

How do I use HPL TO GO?

  1. Place a hold through our online catalog.  Holds pickup is only available at HPL TO GO locations.
  2. Once your items become available, you will be notified via phone or email.
  3. After you receive notification, schedule an appointment to pickup your materials.
  4. Upon arrival, please park and stay in your vehicle and call the location to notify staff of your arrival.  Please have your MY Link card number and PIN ready.
  5. Once the account is confirmed, library staff will provide additional pickup instructions.

What if I don't have a MY Link card?

Please click here to get a MY Link card online. This will allow you to place holds on materials through our catalog. When you arrive to pick-up your holds at an HPL TO GO location, make sure to bring a valid ID and proof of address so that staff may verify the account and give you a physical MyLink card.

I do not know the PIN to my MY Link account.  How do I retrieve my PIN?

  1. Visit www.houstonlibrary.org 
  2. Click on My Account located at the top
  3. Click on Did You Forget Your PIN?

My child has a Learning Link account with HISD or Alief ISD. Can they use HPL TO GO?

Yes. There is a limit of 10 items per Learning Link account at this time. Learning Link accounts do not have “items ready for pickup” notification set up. Please call a library to speak with a staff to set up your child’s pickup notification.

How many items may I check out?

MY Link accounts may have 50 items total checked out with DVDs limited to 30. There is a hold limit of 30 items at one time. 
 
Learning Link accounts may have a total of 10 items checked out (juvenile items for elementary students; juvenile and/or adult items for middle and high school students). There is a hold limit of 10 items. These can be print items or audiobooks.  

How do I pay the balance on my library account?

For the safety of staff and customers, we are unable to process payments during HPL TO GO. If you need to make a payment, please access your account here. However, at this time, you can check materials out even if you have fines.

I received notification that my items are ready for pickup. When can I pick up my items?

Please schedule an appointment to pickup your materials at the HPL TO GO location you selected. 

As of Monday, June 1st, HPL TO GO appointments are available: 

Monday 12pm – 7pm 
Wednesday 9am – 4pm 
Friday 9am – 4pm 
Saturday 10am – 4pm. 

Access to HPL BOOKLINK at One Allen Center (Food Court) is available: 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9AM – 4PM (no appointment necessary) 

You may call your pick-up location at the hours above for more information.  

How do I reserve items?

You can reserve titles online.  If you place a hold on an item that is currently not on the shelf at your chosen HPL TO GO location, it may take up to two weeks for the item to be ready for pickup if that item is available on the shelf at another HPL TO GO location. 

The online catalog does not allow me to place a hold on items.  What should I do?

Please call your nearest neighborhood library to speak with a staff member to resolve the issue.

What items are available for pickup?

All physical items currently available at a HPL TO GO location are available to be placed on hold for pickup including DVDs, audiobooks, Flip Kits, etc. 

How will I know that my hold items are ready for pickup?

You will receive an email or phone notification based on your account preference. You can also log in to your account here.

How long do I have to pick up my items on hold before it expires?

You will have 7 days from the date of notification to pick up your holds before the items on hold expires.

It has been a week since I placed my items on hold. Why are my holds not ready for pickup?

The safety of our staff and customers are important to us. We have implemented several new procedures and measures to ensure that materials are handled and processed safely which may sometimes cause a delay.  

If you place a hold on an item that is currently not on the shelf at your chosen HPL TO GO location, it may take up to two weeks for the item to be ready for pickup if that item is available on the shelf at another HPL TO GO location. 

Can I use HPL TO GO if I do not arrive in a vehicle?

  • Place a hold through our online catalog. Holds pickup are only available at HPL locations.   
  • Once your items are available for pickup, you will be notified.
  • After you receive notification, schedule an appointment to pickup your materials
  • Upon arrival, please call the location to notify staff of your arrival and provide your MY Link card and PIN.    
  • Once the account is confirmed, library staff will provide additional pickup instructions to assist with social distancing and ensure a safe and smooth transaction. 

Who can pick up my items that are ready for pickup?

You can have anyone pick up your items for you. However, please ensure that the person picking up your item has your MY Link card and PIN. 

**For your protection, we will be unable to release your hold items without that information.**

Where do I return items?

Items can be returned at any HPL location via book drop.  Book drops are open 24/7.

Locations without bookdrop are: 

  • Dixon Neighborhood Library (closed for renovation) 
  • Melcher Neighborhood Library (closed for renovation) 
  • Pleasantville Neighborhood-Library (closed for renovation) 
  • McCrane-Kashmere Gardens Neighborhood Library (mini location) 
  • Lakewood Neighborhood Library (mini location) 
  • HPL Express Southwest (inside Southwest Multiservice Center) 
  • Meyer Neighborhood Library (closed for storm recovery) 
  • Kendall Neighborhood Library (closed for storm recovery) 
  • Flores Neighborhood Library (closed for storm recovery) 

If you have items to return and are unable to use the book drop, please place your return items in a disposable bag and bring them to an HPL TO GO location during operating hours. Please park and stay in your vehicle and call the location to let staff know you have arrived. Library staff will retrieve the bagged items from your trunk or back passenger seat. 

As a safety precaution, please do not place returned items at the curbside table located at HPL TO GO Locations. 

I returned my items yesterday. Why are the items still listed on my account?

All items returned during this time will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours. It may take up to 5 days for returned items to be removed from your account. There will be no fines or late fees until further notice.

Can I suspend my holds until I’m ready to borrow books from the library again?

Yes.

  1. Please log in to your account here.
  2. Click on the Holds tab.
  3. Select the item you would like to suspend, then click Suspend Holds.
  4. Input the start and end date of your suspension.

I have items on hold that I no longer want.  How do I cancel my holds?

  1. Please log in to your account here.
  2. Click on the Holds tab.
  3. Select the item you would like to cancel, then click Cancel Holds.

Are you accepting book donations?

We are not accepting book donations at this time. Please do not put book donations in the book return or place them at the curbside table.

Can I clean the books I picked up from HPL TO GO?

You can use disinfecting wipes on plastic covered books. You can quarantine books for 72 hours before use. Please do not spray or wipe paperback books or the pages inside the book as it will cause the pages to become wet and therefore damage the item.  

What are the safety precautions your staff is taking?

All staff members are required to wear gloves, a face mask, and practice social distancing during curbside service. All items returned during this time will be placed in a 72-hour quarantine before being removed from customer accounts.