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BPL To-Go Program - How it Works, Pilot Branches and more...

Boston Public Library Re-imagined for COVID-19 Re-openingBPL To Go Program - How it Works, Pilot Branches and more


Starting of June 22, 2020 patrons will be able to pick up physical items at the Boston Public Library with the new “BPL to Go” program. Patrons will be able to “reserve” items via the library website, phone line, or the “BPL To Go” iPhone app.  Items include:

  • 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.

The pilot program will launch first at the Central Library in Copley Square, the Codman Square Branch, the East Boston Branch, the Jamaica Plain Branch, and the Mattapan Branch, and will then gradually be deployed to other branches.

How does it work?

In the first phase of the program, items at Boston's Central Library location will be available by entering the Johnson Building on Boylston Street.

At the Jamaica Plan and East Boston branches, patrons will arrive at the branch but 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 able to pick up items they have previously placed on hold by either calling the library or placing a hold at When items are ready, patrons will be notified their items are ready for pickup, and will be asked to schedule a time to come to their pickup location.

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.

The Library expects to deploy variations of this program to other branches throughout the system in the upcoming weeks.

Hours of Operation

Once they have a time scheduled for pick up, patrons will be able to pick up their items from the Central Library from 11am – 6pm, Monday – Thursday, and from 11am – 4pm Friday & Saturday.

At the branches, patrons can pick up their items from 2 - 6pm Monday - Thursday; and from 2 - 4pm Friday.

Book Returns

Patrons will also be able to return books. Bins will be set up for patrons to drop off returns; these bins will be quarantined for at least 72 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.


How to “order” items (place a hold)


Digital Resources 

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
[email protected]

There are so many more fun things to do in Boston - check out our Boston Events Calendar for ideas on specific events, or if you are looking for a deal, check out our popular article about free things to do in Boston