RHPL Preparedness & Response Plan to COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions

Is the library open?

The library is open with normal hours and no capacity limits, except for library programs in the multipurpose room. The library will be closed on Sundays beginning on May 29 through September 4. 

Are your public restrooms open?


What can I expect when visiting the library?

  • Library hours remain the same. See Location & Hours.
  • Drinking fountains are turned on. 
  • Computers are out of the enclosed lab and are now on an open floor plan. 
  • Current magazines can be enjoyed at the library. Back issues of magazines are in circulation and can be enjoyed at home.
  • Newspapers are available and can be enjoyed at the library. 
  • Group study rooms are open and can be reserved online.
  • Meeting rooms can be reserved online
  • Small donations of books are accepted and can be placed in the donation bins near the Circulation desk. For larger book donations, call the Friends of RHPL at 248-650-7178.
  • The Friends Library Store is open. 

How do I return my library materials?

Patrons can return library items at the drive-thru window, outdoor automated return (open 24/7), or in the lobby using the return slots during regular business hours. 

Can RHPL suggest books for patrons to read?

Yes, of course! Patrons may call the mainline at 248-650-2900 and speak to a librarian who will be happy to provide reading lists and recommendations. Patrons may also visit rhpl.org, hover over the Departments tab at the top, and select Adult, Teen, Youth, or Outreach to find reading recommendations and to email librarians.

What is your policy on masks?

  • Review RHPL's Code of Conduct policy on Customer Service
  • As of Friday, May 13, Oakland County's community level of coronavirus has moved from medium to high according to the CDC county monitoring site. While at the high level, the CDC recommends the following:
  • Masks are not required to enter the library, but RHPL encourages all patrons to wear a mask while inside the Bookmobile. 
  • Masks are available to patrons in the lobby of the main library and on the Bookmobile. 

What is a hold?

A hold is like a reservation. You can select items such as books, DVDs, and other materials, online at rhpl.org using your RHPL card (or over the phone) and reserve them for pickup at the drive-thru window or inside in the lobby. Sometimes an item you want to hold is already checked out or has one or more holds/reservations before you. You can still select to hold the item and wait for it to become available for you. 

How do I place a hold on library items?

You can call (248) 656-2900 and ask for a librarian's assistance in placing a hold on an item you would like to check out. You can also log into your online account at rhpl.org. Click on the My Account tab in the upper right of the library's web page. Log in using your library card number and PIN (usually the last four digits of your phone number). Browse the online catalogs. When you find an item you would like to check out, Click on Place a Hold -- a tab on the right side of the item entry. Follow the prompts and click submit. The hold will then be placed and RHPL will notify you by text or email that the hold has been placed and when you may pick it up. 
View our video tutorial on how to place holds at RHPL.

How do I pick up held items?

Patrons may pick up held items after they receive an email or text notification from the library that the items are ready for pick up. There are two pick-up locations: the Drive-thru window and the Library Holds Shelf near the Circulation Desk. Your notification will indicate where your held items are waiting. You can check out the items using the self-checkout station in the lobby. Innovative Items may be picked up at the Tech Services Desk on the second floor. 

Can I skip the drive-thru line?

Yes, You can choose to pick up holds in our lobby inside the library. 

What are the library's hours?

Visit Location & Hours for more information. 

Is the bookmobile running as scheduled?

Yes. Visit rhpl.org/departments/community-bookmobile for a complete schedule or call Outreach Services at 248-650-7152.

Can I borrow Mel-Cat Items?

MelCat is available for library patrons except for non-residents and MILibrary cardholders 

Can I still borrow the library's digital items?

RHPL's online library is open to all cardholders 24/7. Patrons may place holds on physical items for pick-up and may also borrow the latest eBooks, audiobooks, streaming movies, TV shows, concerts, and databases at rhpl.org. 

Can I reserve a meeting room?

Meeting rooms can be reserved online

Are study rooms open?

Study rooms can be reserved online

Did your Quiet Study Room move?

Yes. Quiet Study is now located in the former second-floor conference room. The library will increase community meeting space on the second floor in the near future. Check our website for updates. 

Are library programs only online?

RHPL offers a mix of in-person, online, and take & make programs. View our Events calendar for more information.

How can I attend library programs online?

RHPL's online programs are presented in a variety of online formats including Zoom and Google Meet. Registration with an email address is required for most programs. Registrants will then receive an email with the meeting link and instructions. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet are free to use. If you need assistance with Zoom, please visit our online tutorials for step-by-step instructions. 

How can I view the library's recorded lectures?

Click on Video Lectures under the Community Programs tab at rhpl.org or visit our YouTube channel to see all of our recorded lectures on a variety of topics including health and wellness, history, art, science, and more. 

If I have overdue items, will I accrue a fine?

Yes. The new fines threshold is $15 (increased from $5). Once patrons reach $15 in fines, they cannot check out materials until the fine is paid. However, RHPL has extended library loan times and removed one and three-day loans.

How do I return my library materials?

The automated return box is open 24/7 (next to the drive-thru window). The return slots are open inside the library lobby during regular business hours.

My library card is about to expire. How can I renew?
Call (248) 656-2900 to renew your card for one year over the phone. 

How do I borrow electronic resources from rhpl.org?

Patrons are encouraged to visit rhpl.org to discover the latest eBooks, eAudiobooks, audiobooks, streaming movies, TV shows, and concerts, along with several online databases free of charge. There are many RHPL resources to help you continue using the library from home at your convenience. All of these resources are free to RHPL cardholders. These resources include:

  • Automatic Item Renewals: Items that are due will renew automatically up to eight times.
  • Digital Resources: 
    • Overdrive/Libby: Access the latest magazine titles, eBooks, and audiobooks from your computer or mobile devices.
    • Hoopla Digital: Instant access to streaming movies, TV shows, ebooks, comics, and more.
    • Kanopy: Stream over 26,000 films. o Acorn TV: Streaming television from Britain and beyond.
    • Qello Concerts: Stream full-length concerts and music documentaries.

Can I apply for a library card?

Yes. Residents and those who work or own property in Rochester, Rochester Hills, or Oakland Township may apply for a library card online. Fill out the pre-registration form then call (248) 656-2900 and the RHPL Circulation team will assign you a library card you can pick up during regular business hours at the drive-thru window. 

I'm having trouble borrowing or downloading ebooks. 

Visit RHPL's online tutorials for assistance with accessing our online resources.  Or call (248) 656-2900 during open hours for assistance. 

I need to use the library's printers. Can I ask you to print something for me?

Yes. Patrons who are residents of Rochester, Rochester Hills, or Oakland Twp. may print to RHPL's printer. Printing fees are: $.10 per black/white page and $.50 per color page. Print virtually any document or web page from your Internet-connected PC to one of our library printers. Visit www.rhpl.org/print to get started. 

If I have questions about my account, is there someone who can help me?

For assistance with online resources, your library account, or other questions, call 248-656-2900 (press 3 for the department menu) during operating hours. You may also send a direct message to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels. 

Where can I find information about COVID-19 vaccines?



 Updated: 5/17/22