Last updated Wednesday, April 14

Have we notified you that your hold is ready?

Patrons are now able to pick up physical items at the Boston Public Library with the new BPL To Go program. Using the library website, phone line (617.536.5400), or the BPL To Go smartphone app, patrons will be able to “order” (place a hold request for) items such as:

  • Books
  • DVDs
  • CDs

Library card holders — including e-card holders — will be able to safely pick up their items much like picking up takeout from a restaurant, and return items using designated bins. BPL To Go is available at most Boston Public Library locations.

In addition, BPL has announced “Printing To Go,” a new print-on-demand service (more information is available below). No other physical services at the library will be available, but branches will continue to offer a wide range of digital events, opens a new window and online resources, opens a new window.

How does BPL To Go work?

Items at the Central Library location are available by entering the Johnson Building on Boylston Street.

At the branches, patrons arrive at the branch but must remain outside. Patrons should call the branch phone number, which will be posted on the door, to let staff know they’ve arrived. Library staff will safely retrieve the ordered items before patrons enter the vestibule to collect their items and drop off any returns.

Patrons will be notified when their items are ready for pickup, and items will remain on the holds shelf for 14 days from the date you are notified.

If your hold pickup location is the Central Library, you may go to that location for pickup anytime during these hours: Monday – Thursday 10 am – 6 pm, Friday & Saturday 10 am – 4 pm (except holidays).

If your hold pickup location is a branch library, your notification will include a link to schedule a specific pickup time. If you need assistance scheduling your pickup, please call 617.536.5400.

All patrons will be required to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing at all times.

When they arrive at the service desk, patrons will share their last name and first initial with library staff, or they can scan their library card from a barcode scanner on their side of the desk. Library staff will retrieve the patron’s items and pass them to the patrons safely and with minimal contact.

Printing To Go

Have a document you need printed?

Printing To Go, a free print-on-demand service, is now available at all BPL branches not currently under construction. 

Patrons can upload documents they need printed by filling out a form at bpl.org/printing-to-go, selecting their location, and picking up their print jobs 72 hours later at the branches, or 24 hours later at the Central Library in Copley Square. Printed items can be picked up during branch hours of operation, a reservation is not needed.

The service is limited to 10 pages per patron per day. Documents will be printed in black and white, single-sided, on 8.5" x 11" paper, and should not include personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or other similar information. Print requests must comply with the Library’s Internet Use Procedures and Guidelines.

Computer Usage

Patrons are able to use computers at the Central Library. Monday – Thursday there are three sessions: 10 am – 11:30 am, 1 pm – 2:30 pm, and 4 pm – 5:30 pm.. On Fridays and Saturdays there are two sessions: 10 am – 11:30 am and 1 pm – 2:30 pm. There are no sessions on Sundays. Six computers are available for advance registration. Four computers will be reserved for walk-ins. Total space is limited to 10 people.

You may reserve a computer in advance at https://apps.bpl.org/computers. Reservation times are available up to 14 days in advance and are limited to one per day and two per week per patron.

Upon arrival at the Central Library, please use the McKim Building entrance (these are the doors to the older library building, on Dartmouth Street, facing Copley Square). Face coverings and social distancing will be required to enter the building. Security will take your temperature using a touchless thermometer. You will then be directed to staff who will check you in and send you to the computer lab. At the computer lab, you'll need to check-in again and then login to the computer with your library credentials, or request a guest pass for login.

Printing service is available for free from the laptop computers in the McKim building. Scanning and copying service is also available for free from the copy machine but requires that you still reserve / check-in as if you are using an available computer.

If you will be doing something that requires use of audio/speakers, you must bring your own headphones.

Hours of Operation

Patrons will be able to pick up their items from the Central Library from 10 am-6 pm, Monday – Thursday and from 10 am – 4 pm Friday & Saturday.

At the branches, once patrons have a time scheduled for pick up, they can pick up their items from 2 - 6 pm Monday - Thursday and from 10 am - 1 pm Fridays.


All branches that are not closed for renovations and that have after-hours book drops can accept returned items at all hours.

Uphams Corner, and Chinatown do not have after-hours book drops, but can accept returns during BPL To Go Holds Pickup hours:

  • Mondays – Thursdays from 2 pm to 6 pm
  • Fridays from 1 pm to 4 pm

Returned items will be quarantined for at least 96 hours before being processed by staff and returned to circulation. All items will remain on patron accounts during the quarantine, but no late fees will be charged.

Thanks for your generosity, but we are not currently accepting any donations.


How to “order” items (place a hold)


Digital Resources