Library Reopening with Limited, In-Person Services

All Des Moines Public Library locations will reopen for some in-person services on a limited basis on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Go HERE for all the details about our new hours, services, and offerings at each DMPL location

We Are Open: In-Person, Curbside, and Online!

DMPL Express

Beginning Monday, September 28, Central Library opened back up to the public for limited browsing and other in-person services.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, our other five libraries will offer additional services, as well. (More details below.)

We’re calling this new phase of reopening DMPL Express. Our goal with DMPL Express is to provide additional in-person options to better serve our customers and community, but in a way that moves people in and out as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible.

So when you come into the library, things will look a bit different to ensure the safety of our staff and customers:

  • Masks are required for all library staff, and all customers 2 years old and older.
  • The number of people allowed inside of our buildings at a time will be limited so we can follow safe social distancing practices.
  • Customers will be limited to 30 minutes for browsing, and 45 minutes for public computer usage.
  • Some materials and services will not be available. Staff assistance will be limited, as well.

Here's What DMPL Express Looks Like:

Sept. 28: Central Library reopened. Customers can browse our shelves, pick up holds, sign up for and renew a library card, study and work in the WiFi Cafe, and more. Public computers will no longer require an appointment, printing/faxing/copying services will continue all day, and our pickup window hours continue as normal. Meeting and study rooms will remain closed.

Guests will be limited to 30 minutes at a time, or 45 minutes for a computer session. Central's basement parking garage will be open to the public again, but the building's north entrance will now be closed.

On Tuesday, October 13, our five other buildings reopen for limited DMPL Express services! A breakdown of services:

At the East Side, Forest, North Side, AND South Side Libraries:

  • DMPL Express Service will take place for 4-6 hours each day (except Sunday) in the afternoon and evening. Services include:
    • Limited browsing
    • Holds pickup
    • Public computer use
    • WiFi access
    • Printing, faxing, and copying services
  • The number of patrons allowed in each building at one time will be limited
  • Meeting rooms and study rooms will remain closed
  • Curbside pickup will remain available ONLY from 10 AM-1 PM Monday through Saturday.

At the Franklin Avenue Library

  • Curbside Pickup service continues as it is currently. 
  • No browsing or public computers.
  • Study rooms may be reserved for 45-minute blocks HERE.

In addition, Central Library's DMPL Express hours changed, the book sale reopened daily at 1 PM, and a new "WiFi Cafe" was opened in the meeting room wing during business hours for those needing a place to use wireless internet to work or study.

Reopening chart

Please Continue to Access Our Contactless Services!

Not ready to return to the library just yet? We still offer many options for contactless services.

BOOK BUNDLES: We’ll put together a stack of books for anyone in your family. Just fill out a simple form and let our librarians do the rest!

BOOK CHAT: Answer a few questions and our team of expert librarians will send you personalized book suggestions. We can even put the items on hold for you!

CURBSIDE PICKUP: Request books in our online catalog, and we’ll tell you when they’re ready to be picked up!

ASK A LIBRARIAN: Have a question for us about your account, or looking for information? Get in touch with a librarian!

VIRTUAL PROGRAMS: We still don’t have in-person programs, but we are hosting and posting online programs for kids, families, and adults each week!

Reopening FAQ

We understand COVID-19 is still in our communities, and for several months library leaders have worked with city officials and the library board of trustees to craft a safe reopening plan. Each library has added new safety measures and procedures, and masks and social distancing will be required at all times. In addition, each library will have new occupancy limits.

Central Library will be open for limited browsing, public computer sessions, faxing/printing/copying services, new library cards and renewals, and more, beginning Sept. 28. Meeting and study rooms will not be open, and there will be no tables or seating available in the library.

Beginning Oct. 13, East Side, Forest Avenue, North Side, and South Side Libraries will be open for limited browsing, public computer sessions, faxing/printing/copying services, new library cards and renewals, and more from 1 PM-close, Monday through Saturday. Please check hours at each location.

Browsing and public computers will not be offered at Franklin Avenue Library, but meeting and study rooms will be available for reservation.

No! Beginning Monday, Sept. 28, appointments for public computer sessions at Central Library will no longer be necessary. Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 13, four other locations will offer public computer sessions to those who walk in: East Side Library, Forest Avenue Library, North Side Library, and South Side Library. Please check service hours for each location, and understand that a limited number of computers will be available for 45-minute sessions at a time.

At this time, public computers will not be available at Franklin Avenue Library.

At Central Library, the pickup window will remain open for extended hours. Beginning Oct. 13, curbside pickup will continue full-time at Franklin Avenue Library. At the other four branches, curbside pickup will operate only between 10 AM and 1 PM, at which point the building will open for DMPL Express services.

Remember to check out our Curbside Pickup FAQ page for more curbside questions.

All late fees on new materials that will be checked out have been suspended for the time being. Late fees are also suspended on materials originally due back during the library’s closure. In addition, the $1 checkout fee for DVDs are also temporarily waived until we fully reopen our buildings.

If you currently have fines and fees on your account that prevent you from checking out materials, those will need to be paid before checking out new materials. Please call us at (515) 283-4152 if you have questions about your account.

After 45 days past due for books and CDs, and 25 days past due for DVDs, items that are not returned are considered lost. Patrons will be charged the full cost of the lost item. You are able to return the lost item within a calendar year to avoid being charged its full cost, but there may still be charges applied.

All returned library materials will be quarantined for three business days before returning to library shelves or being checked out to the next patron.

Yes! Sign up HERE. (NOTE: Cardholders must be a resident of Des Moines, Windsor Heights, or rural Polk County to access some digital resources, including streaming video and downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks.) 

New Service Hours

Central Library

DMPL Express
  • 1-5 PM Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
  • 1-7 PM Tuesday, Thursday
Pickup Window + Public Computers
  • 9 AM-5 PM Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • 9 AM-7 PM Tuesday, Thursday
  • 10 AM-5 PM Saturday

Branch Locations

East Side Library
  • Curbside Pickup:
    • 10 AM-1 PM Monday-Saturday;
  • DMPL Express:
    • 1-7 PM Monday and Tuesday
    • 1-5 PM Wednesday through Saturday
Forest Avenue Library:
  • Curbside Pickup: 
    • 10 AM-1 PM Monday-Saturday
  • DMPL Express:
    • 1-7 PM Monday and Thursday 
    • 1-5 PM Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Franklin Avenue Library:
  • Curbside Pickup:
    • 10 AM-7 PM Monday-Thursday
    • 10 AM-4:30 PM Friday-Saturday.
  • Small group/study rooms available for reservation:
    • 10 AM-7 PM Monday-Thursday
    • 10 AM-5 PM Friday-Saturday
North Side Library:
  • Curbside Pickup:
    • 10 AM-1 PM Monday-Saturday
  • DMPL Express:
    • 1-7 PM Tuesday-Wednesday
    • 1-5 PM Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
South Side Library:
  • Curbside Pickup:
    • 10 AM-1 PM Monday-Saturday
  • DMPL Express:
    • 1-7 PM Monday and Wednesday
    • 1-5 PM Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday