Curbside pickup takes place every week on Mondays between 4 and 7pm at the Cambridge Public Library, or on Tuesdays between 3 PM and 6 PM at the Boston Public Library.


Holds must be placed by 10PM on the preceding Sunday. Holds must be part of the Temporary Collection in our online catalog in order to be filled for pickup.

After the library team receives your hold requests, a pickup time will be arranged by email. You will be directed to an online Sign Up Genius form to select your pickup time slot.


When you receive the email to schedule your pickup, please also let library staff know if you’d like to purchase a $5 tote bag to help support the Center (and contain your holds!). Please note that library staff are taking every precaution for your and their own safety. Staff will be wearing face masks, respecting social distancing, washing their hands frequently, and sanitizing the pickup table.


Placing a hold on an item can be done using the library’s online system, KOHA. The specific temporary collection can be found using this direct link.
In KOHA, you can login using your Center-created username and password. Your username is usually your first initial followed by your last name (ex: John Doe would be jdoe) and your password is automatically set to the last four digits of the number on your membership card.

Please contact if you need assistance resetting your account information. 

Browse our Temporary Collection by scrolling through the pages of available titles. You can also use the “sort” function to organize the list by author, title, call number, copyright date, or date added. Sorting by “Call number (Z-A)” is especially helpful as a way to browse by collection, starting with YA novels and ending with nonfiction titles for adults.

Some codes to know for children’s materials: “BOARD” is for board books, “JI” is for picture books, “JR” is for middle grade novels while “JR Niveau #” is for easy readers, “YA” is for young adult novels. If you’d like some clarification regarding collection codes, reach out to your librarian.

Once you’ve found the title you’d like to request from our Temporary Collection, you can place a hold directly using the “Place hold” clickable text under the star rating system or by clicking into the item’s record. If you choose the second option, your screen should look like this:

From this page, you can click “Place hold” at the top of the column to the right, housed in the gray text box.
Using either method will take you to a confirmation page. This page will say “Confirm holds for: FIRSTNAME LASTNAME (00000xxxx)

When you click “Confirm hold,” KOHA will take you to your list of placed holds. This list will mark your holds as “pending” until they are checked out to you on the day you choose to pick them up.

If you would like the librarian’s help to place your first hold, please contact to set up a time for a Zoom call.


When you are 5 minutes away, please call the number listed in your holds confirmation email. The librarian will have your books (in a stack or tote bag, if you opt to purchase one. This can be done by credit card over the phone before picking up your materials) on a table at either the Cambridge or the Boston Public Library.

Items checked out using curbside pickup will be subject to our normal lending periods and fines. Books will be available for a period of 3 weeks, with one automatic renewal for items that have not been placed on hold by another patron. DVDs and games will be available for 2 weeks with no renewals. Books returned late will be charged $0.10 per day, per item. DVDs returned late will be charged $1 per day, per item. A note with this reminder will be included with your materials.


Please email Sonia at in order to arrange for in-person returns or returns by mail using the USPS media mail option. Do NOT return books to La Voile, Bar à vin 1855, the Boston Public Library or to 53 Marlborough Street. These books will not get to Center staff and you will be charged for their replacement.