How Does It Work?

Starting Monday, June 22, we will be accepting returns at the Winnetka Library only. The Northfield Branch remains closed for the time being.

We will be accepting returns on a staggered basis, to allow space in the library building. Please return your items during the week assigned to your last name below.

Last Names Starting WithReturn Window
A–CJune 22–28
D–IJune 29–July 5
J–OJuly 6–12
P–ZJuly 13–19

Returning Materials FAQ

How can I return materials?

You can return items in the book drop at the Winnetka Library* anytime during the week of your last name or on the table by the front door of the Winnetka Library between 1-5 p.m. daily.

Please wear a face mask and maintain 6′ of physical distance.

*Northfield remains closed for the time being.

Why can’t we return items at Northfield? 

Unfortunately, the size of the Northfield Branch does not allow our staff to work while safely following social distancing guidelines. We look forward to offering services at the Northfield Branch again as social distancing guidelines ease, and as we navigate various stages of reopening.

What if I can’t return my items right away?

We understand that not everyone will be able to return their items immediately, and we do not want you to feel as though you have to rush to do so. We have extended due dates until Aug. 1, and will not be assessing fines during our closure.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at or call us at 847-446-7220.

Why are you limiting when we can return items?

This return schedule allows us to create a steady flow of items without overwhelming our ability to quarantine them. (There are over 14,500 items currently checked out.) All items must be quarantined for seven days after they are returned before they can be processed and reshelved.

We also understand that not everyone will be able to return their items immediately so do not feel that you need to rush to return them. We have extended due dates until Aug. 1, and there will be no fines for any materials you have checked out during the building closure.

Why do you have to quarantine the items?

Unlike restaurants or retail stores who offer consumables, the Library’s materials circulate out to patrons’ homes, back to the library, and out again.

Because of that, all materials upon their return will need to handled by staff wearing the appropriate safety equipment and then quarantined for a period of up to 7 days before that material can be checked out to another individual. This will allow us to comfortably minimize the risks to the people handling those materials and for those receiving them.

How can I see what I currently have checked out?

To see what you currently have checked out, you can access your library account. If you are not sure what your PIN/password is, you can click the Forgot Your Password link below the Password field. If you need further help to access your account, email us at or call us at 847-446-7220.

Why are my returned items still on my account?

In order to safely circulate library materials, we are following scientific advice to quarantine materials for 7 days. During this quarantine period, the items you returned will still appear on your account. The library is not assessing overdue fines or fees during this time, so you will not be charged any fines.

Once the items have been quarantined, library staff will safely check in the materials.

What if I have a lost or damaged item?

You can call us at 847-446-7220 or email us at to let us know about any lost or damaged items.

Can I return items checked out from another library through interlibrary loan?

Yes, we are accepting returns from other libraries. Please be aware that there is no delivery at this time, so certain items will not be returned to their home library until delivery resumes.

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