• Emily Rohlfs, Director

KPL goes FINE-FREE, and prepares for Curbside Pickup, starting June 1st

The Keokuk Public Library Board met on Zoom on Monday, May 18th at 4:30 pm. Board members discussed plans to safely add new library services, and how the library could help the community in a time of increasing economic hardship and disparity.

The KPL Board of Trustees voted unanimously to discontinue the practice of charging overdue fines, and to waive past fines. Keeping items that belong to the public is still considered theft under Iowa law, and fees for replacement, repair, and reprocessing are still in place. Most patrons with long overdue items in good condition will only have to return these items. A few patrons with large, older fees will still have to settle their debts with the collection agency that the library contracted with in the past.

In lieu of fines, the public may use the outside book return to return overdue items and make a small donation to the library or the library park. The library drop box, currently locked, will be unlocked for returns by June 1st.

Curbside services will begin on Monday, June 1, 2020. Curbside Pickup hours will be Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Procedures for library patrons:

1) Place a Request.

Browse the library catalog online (visit and click “Catalog”). Patrons are encouraged to request items online with their card number and password, and library staff are working on an instructional video to teach you how. Patrons can request items online now and be one of the first to arrange curbside pickup in June.

The library will take telephone requests and answer telephone reference starting June 1st. Library staff are happy to take requests, make selections, and make suggestions (AKA a “Reader’s Rx” –

2) Wait to be contacted.

Give library staff 1-3 business days to contact you if your items are “in.” If an item is checked out, you will be added to a waiting list. All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours, and their covers cleaned, before they are checked in for the next patron.

Patrons will be contacted by their “preferred method of contact” –mail/phone, email, or text message. The preferred method of contact can be changed by contacting the library or changing the preference on your online library account.

3) Drive up to the front entrance on 5th Street during Curbside Pickup hours at your earliest convenience. Or walk/cycle/bicycle to the library and wait at least 6’ from the entrance.

4) Call the library when you reach the entrance by car, or as you approach the entrance on foot - (319) 524-1483. Let staff know if you are walking or where your car is parked, and how you would like to receive your items. Library patrons must remain in their vehicles or stand away from the entrance, as they wheel out orders and leave or deliver them to open trunks or windows.

Large items that do not fit in the outside drop box can still be borrowed – on the condition that they will be returned during Curbside hours (calling the library when you arrive). Large items include cake pans, STEM backpacks, and Mobile Story Time Kits.

New members (ages 6+) can sign up for a library card, starting June 1st. Contact the library and a staff member will mail a registration form with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. “Online Only” members will need to follow this step to use Curbside services.

Library board members also discussed simplifying loan periods temporarily, and adding a “Library by Mail” service. “Library by Mail” will help essential workers for whom curbside pickup hours are not convenient, as well as homebound patrons. Reusable mailers are on order, and the library hopes to roll out this service in early July.

For questions before June 1st, please contact the director, Emily Rohlfs, at, or


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