Curbside pickup service

Hooray!   It's time to pick up materials at the library!!  

happy snoopyWe are excited to announce that we are offering "curbside pick up" for books, DVDs, and audiobooks that are in the library! You can also return items if you'd like.

How can I do this?, you ask.  Then we say...  it's easy!


click on image to see Charlie Brown comics on Hoopla

(step-by-step visual instructions on how to place holds here)

1. Login to your account with your library card number and password*.
          *the default password is the last four digits of your card number.

2. Search for the item you want to borrow.

3. Click "place hold" below the item (make sure it's the format you want - audiobook? book? DVD?).

4. Once we have your holds ready, we will call you with the pick-up time. 

5. Come anytime during your pick-up time frame.

REMEMBER - wear your mask and respect 6-foot distancing. 

6. When you arrive at the library, follow the marked entry path up to the tables. Your requested items will be in paper bags, labeled with your last name. The items are already checked out to you!

REMEMBER - only touch the bag labeled with your last name.

7. Grab your bag and leave using the marked "exit" path. Maintain 6-foot social distancing whenever others are present.

The library remains closed to the public and library staff won't be out at the table -- contactless

It's that easy!  You're ready to enjoy items from the library!

Read on for info about returns and other Q & A...

We’ll be moving slowly at first, following the most cautious guidelines to do our part in slowing the spread of coronavirus; our top priority is the safety of patrons and employees. Whether picking up or returning materials we expect that you will follow community guidelines to wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance at all times.

(click for topic) 
Curbside Pickup   
Safety Precautions   
How long?



As of 6/28, our curbside pickup times are Tues., 2 pm–6 pm and Fri., 10 am–2 pm. **Pickup times will change based on many factors. Please wait until you hear from us with a pickup time before coming to the library.**

You will be called if your items will be ready during one of those windows; if we haven’t called you, please don’t come to the library. We can’t give out any unscheduled pickups.

How do I pick up my requested items?

  • For everyone’s safety, you are expected to wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance at all times.
  • Your items will be in a bag labeled with your last name and day/time scheduled for pickup on a table in front of the library entrance.
  • There will be a marked path up to the table. Respect the 6 foot social distancing lines along the path. Once you have your bag, walk away from the table to the side, not back along the path.
  • Do not touch any bags except the one with your name on it.
  • If you have a question, call 772-4346.
  • Please understand that while we will be in the library during pickup times, we generally won’t come outside for everyone’s safety.  

Do I have to request online in the library catalog?
No. You can leave a message at 603-772-4346 or email [email protected]

I don't have a specific title that I want - can I browse?
Not yet. You can take a look at our recommendations page for ideas (definitely look at the staff recommendations blog!), subscribe to the Wowbrary newsletter for new additions, or look at the lists in our catalog for new items (look for the lists that start with "new") and other groups of items.

You can also email us or leave a message at 772-4346 with a request for some recommendations. Let us know what you like to read and we'll put together a sampler for you to try. Depending on staff availability, it could take us a little longer to get items ready.

How long will I be able to keep items?
First, if you have new or high-demand items checked out, please be kind to others and return those as soon as possible. Anything you check out that has a waiting list will be marked so that you can move those to the top of your priority list!

  • New items or items with holds lists will be due back in 2 weeks.
  • There will be a limit of 2 new or on-hold items per card.
  • Loan periods for DVDs and TV Seasons will stay the same at 1 week and 2 weeks. 
  • Loan periods for most other items will be 3 weeks, the same as usual.

Can I request additional items before my scheduled pickup window?
You can, and we will do our best to get them into your package, but we can’t guarantee it. In general, all requests must be placed no later than 24 hours before the pick-up window.

I don’t have a library card yet. Can I use this service?
Yes! Stratham residents can apply for a library card online: We’ll get your card ready as soon as possible, call you with the card number, and mail the card.
What if I can’t pick up items at any of the days/times?
One schedule can never fit everyone! Please let us know when we call (or call back if we have left a message), and we can schedule a different time based on staff availability.
I’m in a vulnerable part of the population and I’m concerned about coming to pick up items at a time that may be crowded.
Let us know when we call to notify you of a pick-up time, and we can schedule a different time or a contactless delivery based on staff availability.





Where and when can I return my items?
You may return items anytime in the entryway book drop (in the wall). If you bring returns while curbside pickup is happening, return items in the bin that is marked.

Where and when can I bring book donations?
Please do not bring any donations to the library! We can't accept them and will need to throw them away.
I returned things I had - why do they still show as checked out to my account?
We're quarantining all returned items for at least 72 hours. Between that and limited staffing levels, items may still be showing as checked out on your card after you have returned them. We’ll catch up, we promise!
Should I clean off the books and other things before returning them?
Thanks for asking! There's no need to do that (unless you have gotten maple syrup on the plastic dust jacket). We are taking steps to ensure that items will be handled in order to make them safe before they get checked out to someone else. 





How are you deciding what to do?
We are following guidance from the CDC, OSHA, EPA, IMLS, NH DHHS, NH Governor's Office, the NH State Library, and Town Administration. For current decision-making process, click here

Is it safe for me to check out items from the library?
We think so. We are following the best guidelines available specifically for surfaces and library materials:

  • Time is the best disinfectant: All items will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before being checked out to anyone else. Additional quarantine time happens naturally with items waiting until the next pick-up time.
  • Careful handling: After quarantine, items will be handled by library staff in order to package for pick up. Staff in the library will wear masks at all times, follow hand-washing protocols, and use disinfectants from the EPA's list of those effective against emerging viruses. We have decided not to use gloves in most situations since current research suggests a higher risk of cross-contamination than any potential benefit.  
  • Paper bags: It has been shown that the virus can be found for longer periods of time on plastic than on paper. In the time between packaging of items to pick up, there is no research showing that any viable virus would be on a paper bag.
  • Transmission: Person-to-person transmission has been shown to be the cause of the high majority of cases. Starting off with contactless pick-up is recommended as the safest delivery method. 

Why is the pick-up procedure so detailed?
Contactless pick up is recommended by all of our reference sources. The steps we have in place provide for the least amount of person-to-person interactions. It is our priority to do things safely for you, other residents, and us.



How long will curbside pick-up last? How long before I can go into the library? How long before things go back to "normal?"

We wish we knew the answer to that. We are monitoring the best resources and guidelines in order to move along a spectrum of services as the situation on the Seacoast and in Stratham unfolds. Even when services start to change, we will continue to offer curbside pickup as an option.

Don't forget - all of the awesome digital collections and services that you've been using are still available and getting better all the time. We encourage you to keep using these services as well as curbside pick-up!

Downloading & streaming ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, Acorn TV, Great Courses, and magazines!
Learn a Language with Mango Languages!
Use tutorials to learn how to use our digital services!