Library drop box and curbside update

Hello Everyone!

Wow, we missed the library and all of you! The director, staff and board are busy writing the plans, policies and procedures that will guide us toward a phased restoration of services, while meeting all of the local, county and state safety requirements.

During the time that the library building has been closed to the public, we have all kept very busy. The staff began offering online programming, technical and tutoring support by email or by phone, and training in areas that they wanted to learn more about.

We also used this time to make improvements, perform maintenance and make repairs in and around the building. We are also planning modifications that will allow for physical distancing as we progress through the coming phases of reopening to the public.

Please be patient with our library staff as we launch this first phase of new service – curbside. Read on for information and FAQ on how that is shaping up so far. Per the library’s adjusted Patron Code of Conduct, masks must be worn at all times when on library grounds.

We look forward to seeing you (from a distance!) and providing you the books and other materials that you have been missing.

All the best and wishing you good health,
—All of us at the Town of Ulster Library


How Will Curbside Pickup Work?

1. Place items on hold, as you normally would … you can:

  • Visit our website to search for items currently available at Town of Ulster Library.
  • Call us at 845-338-7881 or send an email to Please have your library card number ready and the list of titles you are requesting.
  • Temporarily, patrons are limited to 110 (TEN) holds.
  • Please note that items are subject to a 5-day quarantine period upon check in and before check out, which will slow the whole process but is nonetheless an important precaution to take.
  • Items currently on the hold shelf can be checked out through the first week we are open for curbside.

2. Wait for notification, then schedule a time.

  • We will notify you when your hold is available for pickup.
  • Schedule a date and time when you can come by and pick up your items.
  • Hold pick up information will also be included in your hold slip notice. You are also welcome to call us at the library.

3. Once you’ve booked your date and time, pick up your items at the curbside location.

  • Please proceed slowly through the parking lot as there will be new patterns of traffic and staff delivering materials to car on foot.
  • Call us when you get to the parking lot.
  • Pickups will happen at the door on the Salvation Army side of the building.
  • For ease in connecting, some spots will be numbered.
  • If you do not have a cell phone, please call before you come or knock at the pick up door and then step away. Please wait in your car or by the picnic table while we gather your items.
  • If you are on foot, we can arrange to have bags on a table outside the building. Find your bag labeled with the first four letters of your last name.
  • Grab your bag and enjoy!

Other things to know:

Homebound patrons 
Homebound patrons can designate another person to pick up their holds. Please call for more information and to schedule such a pickup.

Beginning Monday, June 15th, our outdoor book drop is available 24/7 for you to return borrowed items any time that’s convenient for you. All returned materials will be quarantined for 5-days before being processed and circulated. (Items currently in our building haven’t been touched in several weeks.) Your items will not be taken off your account until after their 72-hour quarantine period (this will not create penalties or any overdue fines for your account in any way).

Returns will only be accepted via the outdoor drop box. Please do not try to hand anything to staff. If you have any questions or something to tell us, please just go ahead and drop your items in the box with a note and or give us a call.


Curbside Pickup FAQ


How will I know my hold items are ready for pickup?
You will receive an email or phone notification, based on the preference on your account.

How do I return materials?
Please use our exterior book drop for all item returns ONLY. Do not hand returns to staff members. Only use the drop box, as this allows for measured quarantining.

Do I need a library account?
Yes, patrons must hold a library card registered with the Mid-Hudson Library System to use curbside pickup. If you do not have a regular library card, the library staff can help to create one for you. Call the library and our staff will place your new library card in the bag with your materials. Please note that temporary online registrations can only be used for online services, but we can convert an online registrations to a regular library card for you.

What if I have mobility issues and cannot leave my vehicle?
If a patron experiences mobility issues, we can provide an accommodation such as placing bagged items in the trunk of your vehicle. Please request this when you call.

What materials are available for pickup?
All circulating physical materials currently on the shelf at Town of Ulster Library are available, including books, DVDs, magazines and audiobooks.

Can you look for specific items or provide reading suggestions?
Yes, please call us at (845) 338-7881 for book or movie recommendations based on your interests, or what you like to read or watch.
What are you doing to protect the safety of patrons and library staff?
The contactless curbside pickup model is our first attempt at restoring partial services – using physical distancing for the safety of our patrons and our staff. Staff will use gloves and cloth face coverings or masks in accordance with CDC guidelines.


What’s Happening Behind the Scenes?


  • Town of Ulster Library  is taking a phased reopening approach that prioritizes the health and safety of our patrons and staff.
  • On-site staff are required to follow public health guidance like wearing face coverings, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and maintaining proper distance during any in-person interactions.
  • Staff are busy shelving books, pulling holds, ordering and adding new items, quarantining returned materials, helping to circulate items and planning/hosting for virtual programs.
  • Our library staff continues to take your questions by phone and email! They’re also providing and expanding online offerings such as virtual services and programs and the digital collection.