Covid-19

PCPLS Covid-19 Statement (7/20/2020) - Face Masks

Porter County Public Library System to require face coverings at all library locations

PCPLS will require patrons to wear face coverings at all locations, starting Monday, July 20.

PCPLS Board of Trustees has passed a resolution requiring all library employees, patrons and visitors to wear face coverings in all indoor public/common areas of Library buildings, offices and facilities unless under the
age of two, or where an existing underlying health condition prohibits the wearing of a face covering.

This aligns library policy with that of local and state government agencies, such as the Porter County Commissioners, which have reopened government buildings to the public, but required employees as well as members of the public to wear masks while inside County buildings.

According to the resolution, the Porter County Public Library System and its Board of Trustees are committed to protecting the health and safety of Library staff, patrons and all Porter County citizens. Library staff have been wearing required face coverings, along with the implementation of numerous other safety measures, including a quarantine period for returned materials, plexiglass shields, social distancing requirements, and regular disinfection and reduction of common surfaces, since all PCPLS locations reopened in May.

PCPLS Covid-19 Statement (5/22/2020) - Re Opening

Porter County Public Library System Announces Limited Reopen Tuesday, May 26

PCPLS welcomes patrons back into all five branches, at limited capacity, beginning 10:00 AM, Tuesday, May 26. Hours will be 10 AM – 6 PM Monday through Friday, and 1-5 PM Saturday, at all branches.

In compliance with COVID-19 regulations and best practices, each branch will allow a limited number of patrons into the building at a time to browse, checkout, and use regular library services, such as faxing, notary, and print pickup. Public computers will be available by appointment. 

Library staff will wear masks, continue to quarantine items, and follow social distancing guidelines. Additional precautions, such as sneezeguards, have been installed at all branches. The limited library open hours will allow staff adequate time to sanitize the facilities between openings.

While we are eager to get our community back into their library, our primary concern is for the health and safety of our staff and patrons,” said Director Jesse Butz.  “Our Library may look and feel a little different with our safety precautions, but we are committed to providing our community access to the wealth of resources and materials they love!”

PCPLS Covid-19 Statement (5/1/2020) - Curbside

Dear Porter County Community,

On behalf of everyone here at Porter County Public Library System, I would like to thank you for the continued support you have shown us throughout this pandemic. Our guiding principle has been thoughtful planning based on the guidance of our health officials and our Governor. We have worked to ensure that we are operating within the confines of those restrictions while continuing to support Porter County. Governor Holcomb’s Stage 2 Plan released on Friday May 1st noted that “Public libraries may open according to their own policies and CDC guidelines.” While we are proud of the work we have done to expand our digital materials and programming, today is the day we have been eagerly awaiting for the last month.

The Porter County Public Library System is pleased to announce that while our facilities remain closed to visitors, we will be resuming curbside delivery service at all branches Monday-Friday from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM, beginning May 4, 2020. 

Our primary responsibility is to provide our patrons and team members with a safe and welcoming environment. To that end we are asking our patrons to follow the process listed below.

  1. Curbside pickup is available for all items at PCPLS. 
  2. Only items that have been quarantined for at least three days will be reservable. 
  3. All Curbside items must be reserved the day prior to pickup to allow staff to safely retrieve the materials. Please do not plan on arriving at the Library without having received a pickup notice or contacting the branch to confirm their availability. 
  4. No returns will be accepted by our team members during the Curbside process. We will accept returns through any of our external drop boxes. Please note that all returned items will not be checked in and will still show on your account for a minimum of three days. 
  5. When you arrive at the Library, please pull your vehicle into any open curbside spot designated by the numbered signs This sign will have the phone number you will need to call in order to check out your items.
  6. When calling the curbside number, please be patient. For the safety of our team we are limiting the number of employees in our buildings in order to maximize social distancing. All calls will be answered in the order they are received. If you get our voicemail we will contact you as soon as we can. 
  7. When speaking to a team member, please have your library card number ready.. 
  8. A team member, wearing a mask, will bring your items to the numbered sign in front of your vehicle. They will place your bag of items on the provided hook. Please do not exit your vehicle until the team member is over six feet from your car. While we are excited to see you, for everyone’s health and safety, please do not approach the team member. Again, no returns or donations will be accepted by team members. 
  9. All items will have extended due dates. However, our drop boxes are open so please feel free to return your items at your convenience. 

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters. We will continue to evaluate our services to ensure maximum safety while delivering essential services to our community. Please follow us on Facebook or check back with our website for the most up-to-date information available.

It has been our honor to continue to serve you during these troubling times.

Stay healthy,

Jesse Butz

Director 

Pandemic Health and Safety Procedures
PCPLS Home Resources Statement (3/25/2020)

Read online or stream free media anywhere with PCPLS

While the Porter County Public Library System is temporarily closed and will not reopen before Wednesday, April 8, Porter County residents can still discover and explore the library’s digital resources.

Retail subscription services that provide access to ebooks, movies, or TV via smartphone or tablet can cost consumers hundreds of dollars per year. However, PCPLS cardholders can access thousands of popular digital ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows free from the library.

PCPLS cardholders can borrow from the digital collection by visiting the pcpls.org or by downloading Libby, Overdrive, RBDigital, Hoopla, Kanopy, or TumbleBooks from the app store. All you need is a library card and PIN (forgot your PIN? No problem! Just contact PCPLS at https://pcpls.org/library-information).

Looking for something new to watch? Download Hoopla and Kanopy, both groundbreaking digital media services that allow you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! Hoopla offers popular titles in a wide variety of genres and formats.  Kanopy is “thoughtful entertainment” – documentaries, classic cinema, foreign films, and more. Simple and easy to use, all you need to get started using either service is your library card and a web browser, smart phone, or tablet.

Love reading? Named one of TIME’s Best iPhone and Android Apps of 2018, Libby and Overdrive seamlessly connect first-time users and experienced readers with thousands of digital titles. These tailored collections offer ebooks and audiobooks including bestsellers and new releases in a variety of genres. Readers of all ages can select from virtually every subject ranging from mystery, romance, children’s, business and more.

Users can also listen to audiobooks, the fastest-growing segment of the publishing industry, with the convenience of listening on the go. In addition, PCPLS offers top-selling magazines that are available with no waitlists or holds. Libby, Overdrive, and RBDigital all provide convenient access to current magazine titles, available from the comfort of your home.

Electronic titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles from Libby, Overdrive, and RBDigital for offline use.

You can also keep children entertained and reading with TumbleBooks! TumbleBooks are animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they’ll love.

TumbleBooks are created by taking existing picture books, adding animation, sound, music, and narration to produce an electronic picture book which you can read, or have read to you. It also includes National Geographic videos and games. TumbleBooks is available for both Android and iOS devices.

To get started enjoying thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and more, visit pcpls.org or download the Libby, Overdrive, RBDigital, Hoopla, Kanopy, and TumbleBooks apps today. Our online resources just require a library card and PIN. If you’ve forgotten your PIN or need help logging in, simply contact PCPLS staff at https://pcpls.org/library-information).

PCPLS Covid-19 Statement (3/24/2020)

Dear Porter County Community,

I want to start off by thanking you for the uplifting support and well wishes you have given our staff during these difficult times. PCPLS prides itself on being a cornerstone of our community. We committed ourselves to continuing to  provide safe and effective services to the residents of our County in their time of need. Our goal has been to be a small beacon of light in these troubled times for the residents of Porter County. From the feedback we have received it’s apparent we have done so! 

Throughout this emergency we have continued to follow the guidance of our public health and local government officials. At each point we have been ahead of the curve and ready to step down our services based on those recommendations. It is with that in mind that I am writing today. 

Effective March 24, 2020 at 6:00 PM PCPLS will cease all physical operations. Our curbside to go service will be suspended until at least April 8, 2020 at 10:00 AM. This closure reflects Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-08 to stay-at-home. As with everything involving this scenario, all dates are subject to change. We will monitor the situation and make final decisions, as we get closer to that date. We will keep you informed of any changes in our plans on our website. You may also visit our Facebook page for any immediate updates. We ask for your patience, as this is uncharted territory for all of us.

Don’t worry about things like overdue books or returning items. Any physical materials currently checked out will have their due dates extended until we reopen.  We are a Fine Free library, which means you won’t have any fines accumulating….now or ever. 

We are committed to continuing to serve our community and plan to do so through innovative and exciting new ways. We are expanding our digital offerings like never before including virtual programs, expanding digital materials, and exciting new resources. 

We may not be able to be physically at our branches, but we will continue to serve you to the best of our abilities. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support.

Stay safe Porter County,

PCPLS

PCPLS Covid-19 Statement (3/16/2020)

Dear Porter County Community,

After much thought and evaluation of the current situation in our global community, we have decided to temporarily close all branches of the Porter County Public Library System to the public starting Monday March 16th, 2020 in an effort to protect your children, families, and our team from the swift spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. To continue providing our essential services to as many as possible while protecting the health and safety of our patrons, we will be offering a no contact Library Express: Curbside To Go option at all five branches beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Our tentative plan is to remain closed until at least April 10, 2020, with the intention to open again when the public schools in Porter County decide to open.  As with everything involving this scenario, all dates are subject to change. We will monitor the situation and make final decisions, as we get closer to that date. We will keep you informed of any changes in our plans through our website. You may also visit our Facebook page for any immediate updates. We ask for your patience, as this is uncharted territory for all of us.

Don’t worry about things like overdue books or returning items. Any physical materials currently checked out will have their due dates extended until we reopen.  We are a Fine Free library, which means you won’t have any fines accumulating….now or ever.

While our spaces are closed, we encourage you to take this opportunity to explore the tens of thousands of resources available to you from home with your library card. If you need assistance, staff will be available remotely via our chat service at pcpls.org, email, and phone. We will also be providing virtual programming throughout the closure as well as sharing the great resources being made available by others.

This decision was not made lightly but deemed necessary to protect our patrons and staff.  We are committed to following any and all updated recommendations from the CDC and local health officials including social distancing and self-quarantine.

Your family’s health and wellness are our top priority. We want the safest scenario for our team and their families as well. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we believe this is the best thing we can do to help to slow the spread of the virus in our community. Please stay safe, monitor your health, follow guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control, and check for updates at the Indiana State Department of Health website.

We are committed to continuing to serve our community and plan to do so through innovative and exciting new ways. That being said, we look forward to seeing you again when we reopen, and in the meantime, please take care of yourself and those around you.

Getting Your Library Card

What can I do with a library card?

Patrons can check out a wide variety of materials with their library cards, not just books! Patrons also have access to resources like:

  • Music CDs
  • Videos
  • Audiobooks
  • Computers with Internet
  • eBooks and eMagazines you can check out from home
  • and more!

Please see the Welcome Brochure to find out more about our services.

Who can get a library card?

Anyone who lives in our library district can get a free library card. Our library district includes all townships in Porter County except for Westchester Township.

If you don’t live in our district, you may still be able to get a free library card:

  • If your home library is a partner with us. Most Indiana libraries are partners.
  • If you are a Teacher who teaches in our district.
  • If you are a student living here for school.
  • If you are a businesses in our district.
  • If you are are living temporarily at a shelter in our district.
  • If you only want to use our computers (not check out materials).

If you can’t get a free library card, you might be able to get a different kind of library card:

  • If you are living in our district temporarily, you can get a card if you make a $50.00 cash deposit. This deposit will be refunded if the card is in good standing when you turn it in.
  • If you already have a card at another Indiana library, you can purchase a state-wide Public Library Access Card (PLAC) for an annual fee. This is good at any Indiana library.
  • Anyone can purchase a card for an annual fee. This costs less than a PLAC, but can only be used at our libraries.

How old do I have to be to get a library card?

Anyone can get a library card, even babies. However, children in 5th grade and under must have a parent come with to register for a library card. If you finished 5th grade, but are under 18, you may register yourself, or have a parent come with and do it for you.

How do I get a library card?

To get a library card, bring a valid photo ID to the library.

You can use your card right away to check out up to three items, use the computers, and check out ebooks.

Parents, if you are registering your child, you may provide your own ID. We will also ask you to pay any outstanding fees on your own card before you register your child.

Using Your Library Card

What are your borrowing rules? (No. of items, checkout length, etc.)
Where can I check out and return materials?

You can choose any of our branch locations to pick up, check out, or return materials. When requesting materials through our catalog, please be sure you indicate at which branch you would like to pick them up at the time you place the hold. You may find the locations and hours of our branches at the bottom of our website.

I forgot my PIN, what do I do?

Your PIN is the last 4 digits of the phone number you registered with us.

Becoming a Library Patron

How do I become a library patron?

Becoming a patron at any of the PCPLS branches is incredibly easy! Simply visit your local branch and ask to become a card member. You can learn more about getting your card by visiting our Get A Card page!

How do I sign up for text message notifications?

  1. Login to your account with your library barcode and pin.
  2. Click on your name in the top right corner to go to your account screen.
  3. Click the Edit Account button.
  4. Under Mobile Settings, enter your mobile phone number, and check the box to opt in.
  5. Click Submit at the bottom.
  6. You will receive a confirmation text. Reply “YES” to opt-in. You may opt-out at any time.

The following carriers are supported:

  • Sprint / Nextel
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Boost
  • Alltel
  • US Cellular
  • Cellular South
  • AT&T
  • Virgin
  • Cricket
  • Cellcom

If you do not use one of these carriers, you can still receive library notices by email or phone. You can edit your email and phone number and choose which type you prefer after clicking the Edit Account button.

Can I volunteer at the library?

The library loves volunteers. If you’re interested in being a volunteer, we invite you to learn more about the volunteer program and fill out an application, if you’re interested.

How can I help support the library?

The library thrives only because of the dedicated support of our community. If you want to learn more about supporting PCPLS, we invite you to explore the different opportunities available to support PCPLS.

Digital Services

What is the PCPLS mobile app?

The PCPLS mobile app lets you take the library with you no matter where you are. Through the app, you can access our catalog to search for your favorite books, movies, and other materials. Plus, you can use the mobile app to access our ebooks, emagazines, and other digital content.

Learn more about the PCPLS mobile app. 

How can I get the mobile app?

The PCPLS app can be used with multiple devices. Currently, it is compatible with Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Amazon Kindle devices. To get the app, visit the app store you use, search for PCPLS, and follow the download instructions.

What e reading resources does PCPLS offer?

PCPLS is proud to offer several online sources for great ebooks, emagazines, audiobooks, and other great content. You can learn more about these services and features by visiting our Digital Branch.

What other online resources does PCPLS provide?

PCPLS connects you to online databases for discovering new things, finding information, searching for jobs, and so much more. Our online resources and databases are full of great information and knowledge. Discover more by visiting our Databases page. 

Have A Question We Haven’t Answered Yet?

If you can’t find the information you are looking for, let our staff know and we will be glad to assist you however we can!