Welcome back! We’ve made some changes.
All Scott County Library locations are open. Click on the tabs below to see answers to Frequently Asked Questions about library services.
Customers may briefly visit libraries in person during walk-in Express Service hours to browse materials, complete quick computer transactions, and check out. Click here to see Locations & Hours.
We will update this page as new information is available. In the meantime, important public health data and the status of other Scott County services can be found here.
Last Updated: 10/28/2020
- For Your Safety
- Visiting the Library
- Library Services
- My Library Account
- Materials & Curbside Pickup
- Computers & Printing
- Online Resources & eBooks
- Meeting Rooms
- Elections Support
Which safety guidelines are Scott County Libraries following?
Following guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and Scott County Public Health, we are observing these important safety precautions:
- Face Masks: We require all visitors over the age of five to wear masks. Library staff will also be wearing masks.
- In & Out: We ask you to limit your visits to 30 minutes or less.
- Social Distancing: We encourage you to keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself, other customers, and library staff.
- Limited Capacity: We are limiting the number of people allowed in the library at one time. This means you may be asked to wait outside the building for a short time until it is safe to enter.
- Cleaning: We are increasing cleaning throughout the library, including high-touch surfaces.
Are library buildings open for walk-ins?
- Yes, libraries are open for walk-in Express Service visits. To view your library’s walk-in Express hours, click here.
Some services are by appointment only, including 1-hour Computer Appointments and Curbside Pickup.
Have spaces changed since the libraries closed?
- Yes, we have modified our spaces to help visitors practice social distancing and to keep our staff safe. You may notice that some furniture has been removed or that certain areas are less accessible than before.
May I stay to use a reading area, play space, or study room?
- At this time, reading areas, play spaces, and study rooms are unavailable. We ask customers to limit visits to 30 minutes or less.
May I reserve a meeting room?
- At this time, only small group meetings for official Scott County business are permitted. We will expand access to the general public as soon as it is safe to do so. We are not taking future reservations at this time.
Is there a limit to the number of people allowed in the library?
- Yes. You may be asked to wait in line until we have space for additional customers. A staff member will let you know when you may enter the library. While in the library, please follow social distancing guidelines and keep six feet between you and others.
How long may I stay in the library?
- Please keep your visit under 30 minutes so others may take advantage of Express service.
How can I check my Account?
- You can check your account through our online catalog page or our mobile app (available on both iOS and Android).
Will I get a late fine on my account now that libraries are open?
- At this time, we continue to waive late fines to help customers return items, including interlibrary loans. However, we will resume mailing out bills for lost items in November. If you have questions about your items, please call your library so we can help.
I lost an item. How can I pay for it?
- First, call or email your library so we can mark the item as "lost" in our system. You can then pay for the item by credit card through our online catalog page or our mobile app (available on both iOS and Android).
I returned an item but it’s still on showing on my account OR I received an overdue notice. Why is that? Will I be charged late fines?
- Returned items are quarantined for 3+ business days before being checked in by staff, so you may briefly see items on your Account after being returned. You may also get an overdue notice, depending on timing. You may disregard this notice if the item was returned. You will not be charged, we are waiving late fines due to COVID-19. Thanks for your patience as we ensure materials are safe for circulation.
Are items still automatically renewing?
- Yes, our system continues to automatically renew Scott County Library items up to 5 times (if no one has a hold on the item). As before, interlibrary loans may only be borrowed for 3 weeks with no renewals. We continue to send email notices to inform you which items do or do not automatically renew. You can check how many times an item has been renewed on your library account.
How can I reset my library card’s PIN number?
- Click here to reset your PIN. You must have an email on file in your account to complete the process. If not, call your library and we can reset it for you.
Will my card expire?
- We extended all accounts so that no cards will expire during this time.
I am not ready to visit my library. Is Curbside Pickup still available?
- Yes! We will continue to offer curbside pickup appointments for the foreseeable future. Visit our Curbside Pickup page to find your library’s next available appointment.
May I check out materials with staff inside the library?
- We encourage you to use self-checkout machines. Please remember to bring your library card.
Tip: Try our mobile app available on iOS or Android! Use the "My Barcode" feature as a digital library card, and never forget your library card again.
Can I return my materials?
- Yes, you may return all materials in outdoor book drop slots, or you may leave them inside on a return cart specified by your library.
I placed a hold a long time ago. What is the status of my hold?
- You can check the status of any hold by logging into our mobile app or My Account on our catalog page.
- All available holds are now held for 21 days instead of 15 days.
- If you aren’t ready to place holds or pick them up, remember you can keep track of items you want to read later with the List feature in My Account.
I have an item from another library system (through interlibrary loan). Can I return it to my Scott County Library, or should I return it to its home library?
- Yes, you may return it to us. We’ll make sure all items are delivered to their home libraries. There may be a delivery delay.
Can I request items from other Minnesota libraries through MNLink?
- Yes, interlibrary loan services have resumed statewide. However, you may only request 5 items at a time. Some libraries are not yet participating - see the MNLink website for more information. Thanks for your patience as all Minnesota libraries work hard to get back on track. If you have a question about an interlibrary loan item, please contact your library.
Can I quickly drop in to print or scan something during Express Service hours?
- Yes. Customers may drop in during Express Hours to complete quick transactions such as printing, scanning, and checking email. Sessions are limited to 30 minutes with no extensions. Additional Express computers (15 minutes) are also available. We have fewer computers available due to social distancing needs, so we ask that you keep your business brief.
I need to use a computer for longer than 30 minutes. When can I use a library computer?
- You can use a computer for 60 minutes during our Appointment Hours. Call your library or use our online booking system to reserve a 60-minute Computer Appointment at your library. Please make sure to read the directions when you book. Visit our Computers page to book an appointment and learn more.
Can I drop in to use a copier during Express Service hours?
- Yes, you may print up to 10 pages in free copies or prints during your visit.
Can you print something for me?
Is the library now offering in-person early literacy classes, storytimes, and other programs?
- All in-person programs remain canceled. When we can resume in-person library events and programs with reasonable safety, we will make an announcement.
Is the library offering digital programs?
- Yes! We are still actively working on digital programs for you and your family to stay engaged at home. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the Scott County Nextdoor feed for virtual storytimes, staff recommendations, and more. You can also subscribe to our newsletters to receive information straight to your inbox when they are ready.
How can I borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines?
- Visit our eBooks and eAudiobooks to learn how to use cloudLibrary and RBdigital.
- Try browsing our cloudLibrary and RBdigital collections through our new mobile app.
What kind of distance learning support does the Library offer?
- The library’s collection of digital resources gives you online access to fantastic learning tools, homework help, and more. Click the links to check them out!
What kind of job and career support does the Library offer?
- Build skills or look for a job with online resources.
- Looking for a more tailored recommendation? Ask Us for help via email.
Need information on childcare, food access, housing, mental health resources, transportation, unemployment and more?
May I reserve a meeting room or study room?
- At this time, only small group meetings for official Scott County business are permitted. We will expand access to the general public as soon as it is safe to do so.
When will meeting rooms become available again?
- We will reopen meeting rooms when it is safe to do so, based on guidance from the Governor’s Office and Scott County Public Health. We will give advanced notice when meeting rooms are available again.
What is the status of my prior meeting room reservation?
- Meeting and conference room reservations are canceled with no new reservations allowed at this time.
I heard the libraries are supporting the General Election. Are the libraries polling places or early voting locations?
- We're excited to help Scott County residents vote in the General Election. The libraries are not polling places, but three of our locations (Belle Plaine, Elko New Market, and New Prague) are drop-off sites for absentee ballots. This means you can bring a completed absentee ballot to a Scott County Elections staff member onsite if you prefer to return your ballot in person instead of mailing it. Library staff are unable to accept ballots. See below for drop-off hours.
You must be a Scott County resident to drop off your ballot at one of these locations. LeSueur County residents should contact the City of New Prague to determine where to drop off their ballots.
- Residents of Jordan, Prior Lake, Savage, and Shakopee may vote early (in-person) OR drop off absentee ballots at their City Halls. All other Scott County residents must visit the Scott County Public Works Building.
- Visit the Scott County Elections page for more information about in-person early voting, absentee ballots, and ballot drop-off information.
When can I drop off my absentee ballot at the Belle Plaine Library, Elko New Market Library, or New Prague Library with an Elections staff member?
- County Elections staff can accept your completed ballot in person Monday through Friday, between 8:00-11:00 and 12:00-4:30. (Elections staff are unavailable from 11:00-12:00 during their lunch hour.)
- They will also be available on Saturday 10/31 from 10:00-3:00.
Where can I find more information about voting?
- Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website to register to vote, check your prior voter registration, request an absentee ballot, track your absentee ballot, and more.
- Visit the Scott County Elections page for information about early voting, returning your absentee ballot, and more.
- Visit the Library's Voter Information page for useful links to make your voting experience smooth and informed.