Friday, May 22, 2020

Library closed Monday for Memorial Day

The Ottumwa Public Library will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Library Now Offering Contactless Pickup

Dear Ottumwa Public Library Patrons

I wanted to reach out to you today to let you know that we are beginning a new phase of our reopening plan with our drive up service this week.  You will now be able to request books and movies either online or over the phone and then be able to schedule a time to have them brought out to you in your car at the library.  We are so excited to start this service.  We have missed seeing you during this trying time.

While we would love to go back to normal and reopen the doors of the library to the public, we do not feel it is safe for our patrons or our staff to do that yet.  We continue to rely on local public health and safety guidance as we make our decisions. We have put in place many safety protocols to make the drive up service safe and successful.

We are taking this all day by day and week by week and as it becomes safer to do so we will begin the next phase of the reopening process.  Until then, in addition to the drive up service, you can access many online services including ebooks, audio books, digital magazines, language learning, children’s learning and research databases by going to our website 
Thank you for your patience as we figure out these next stages.


Sonja Ferrell, Director
641-682-7563 ext 202

Here’s how the drive up process will work:

  1. You request materials
    • Specific titles – place your own holds through your account on our catalog at  ; or call us at 641-682-7563 for help placing the holds.  (There is a tutorial video on our website to help with this process.)
    • Age-level/topic requests – call to ask library staff to choose a certain number of materials for you.
  2. Wait for a call to confirm your request is ready and to schedule your pick up. You will pick a one hour window of time to pick your materials up.
  3. When you arrive at the library drive up location (4th St & alley behind library), please call us at 641-682-7563 and give us your name. If you have no way to do this, please notify us when you are on your way to the library.
  4. We will bring your bagged materials out to you once we know you are there.  Please open your trunk or back door to allow for a no-contact placement of your request.  Please respect social distancing protocols during this time and know that we are protecting each other by honoring those.  Do not roll down your window or offer to grab the bags.
  5. Return any materials to our book drop and do not hand them directly to staff.

Ottumwa Public Library Drive Up Hours
Monday- Saturday 9 am-12pm & 2-5 pm

Friday, May 15, 2020

How to place a hold using the online catalog

Have you ever wondered how to place a hold on an item using our online catalog? The following video will walk you through the process and get your started in no time at all.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Ottumwa Public Library to Begin Phased Reopening

Contact: Sonja Ferrell, Director Ottumwa Public Library
PH:641-682-7563 ext 202
Dear Library Patrons:
On Monday Governor Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa would begin lifting COVID 19 related restrictions on certain businesses and organizations as of Friday, May 1 in 77 counties, of which Wapello County is one. This list of groups included public libraries.
The Ottumwa Public Library Director began discussions immediately between the Library Board of Trustees, local emergency management and public health officials, city leadership, and library staff on what this change would look like for the library. Our priority is to begin the reopening process with the health and safety of our patrons and staff being the paramount goal.
As such, the Ottumwa Public Library Board of Trustees voted tonight to implement Phase 1 of a three phase approach at the Library. This includes:
  • Library staff returning to the library on Monday, May 4 to resume work in the library.
  • Drive up service starting later next week for the community. Details are forthcoming.
  • Reference calls being taken during normal operational hours over the phone, email and Facebook messenger.
The library continues to have a number of digital services available. You can enjoy downloading magazines, e-books, audio books, music or children’s Tumble Books from our website with your library card. These are all free services and are available 24/7.
For authoritative and current information about COVID-19, we encourage you to contact the Wapello County Public Health website, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Ottumwa Public Library understands that many community members feel stressed and worried about the threat of COVID-19, and we will do what it takes to remove any library stresses from that list. If you have materials due and don’t feel you can get them back in time simply call us and we will work with you. All materials currently checked out have had their due date extended to May 15.
We will continue to keep you updated through our website and Facebook page.
Thank you,
Sonja Ferrell

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Ongoing List of Online Resources During Coronavirus Outbreak

COVID-19 Iowa News and Information

Health and Medical Resources

Student Learning Resources

Unemployment Information

Free Entertainment Online