It's a top priority of ours: a Library collection that meets our community's demand for great books, music, movies, and more. If what you're looking for isn't available at the moment, we'll do our best to help you explore other options.
Requested items may be picked up at the Library location of your choice, including the Bookmobile and Outreach Van.
If an item in the Library's collection is checked out, it's easy to request that we hold it for you upon its return. Just place a Hold through the Library Catalog, wait for the notification that it's ready for you*, then pick it up at the location you've designated.
To place a hold on a Library item:
- Log in to My Account
- Locate the item you'd like in the Library Catalog
- To the right of the item's name, choose "Place Hold"
- From the "Pickup Library" drop-down menu on the Place a Request page, choose where you would like to pick up your Hold
- The default Activation Date for your Hold Request is today; if you would like to set a different Activation Date, enter it in the Activation Date field
- Choose "Submit Request"
*If others have already placed a Hold on the item, your Hold Request will fall into a waitlist. You can see the status of your Holds Requests online any time at My Account > My Holds & Requests.
Depending on the particular eLending platform, the Library's digital materials (eBooks, streaming media, etc.) may also be "checked out" by others and thus unavailable. Some eLending platforms do allow you to place a hold on these items; please see the eLender's help pages or contact the Library for assistance.
Is someone else picking up your Hold items? See "Checking Out for Someone Else" on our Checkout & Borrowing page.
Suspending & Cancelling Hold Requests
Out of town, or just enough checked out for now—sometimes it's just not a good time to pick up your Library holds. You can cancel Hold Requests at any time, or "put your holds on hold" by suspending them in My Account, reactivating them when you're ready.
To suspend or cancel hold requests on Library items:
- Log in to My Account
- Select "My Hold Requests" in the left-hand navigation block
- Check the boxes next to Hold Requests you'd like to suspend
- Choose "Suspend/Reactivate Selected"or "Cancel Selected" below the list of your Hold Requests
- Enter a reactivate date and choose "Submit"
You may also change suspension/reactivation dates on any items by following the steps above.
If you don't find what you're looking for in our collection, we recommend visiting Indiana University Libraries. All residents of Indiana are entitled to a free Borrower's Card for use in IU Libraries—that's almost 8 million books at the Bloomington campus alone! You can search IUCAT to see what's in IU's collection, and see their borrowing policies for more information.
Outside of IU Libraries, certain books may also be available through Interlibrary Loan, which allows libraries across the region to lend to one another. Our ability to borrow through Interlibrary Loan on your behalf is limited, however; please contact the Library for more information on this option.
▶ Recommending an Item for the Library's Collection
We're always looking for recommendations for our collection! You can request that the Library purchase more great items by completing a Suggestion for Purchase.
See related information on our Checkout & Borrowing page
13303 E Kirkwood Ave
I'm not a Bloomington native, but have lived in the area for over 20 years at this point. In many areas, I will always have a fondness for the town I grew up in, which had a tremendous library. That being said, I cannot say enough good things about MCPL. Glancing at some of the other positive reviews, I think people have offered up a variety of reasons about what makes this place so great. The children's section is very large, and has a great variety of books and videos. The overall video selection is very good for both adult and child sections, although some movies or shows that are located in the childrens section could easily be located with the adult movies as "family friendly". The music selection is very good also. What is particularly appealing to me is how forward thinking they are with technology. There are quite a few public access computers if you do not have access to the internet. For those having a hard time, this can be a great resource. They are also teamed up with Hoopla and Freegal. If you have a library card, you can rent videos for free on Hoopla (and there are some great finds in there!) and you can download up to 5 tracks of audio a week on Freegal. The library is open and spacious, and I noticed it has a room set aside specifically for quiet reading. There is a "friends of the library" bookstore that sells used books 3 days a week, I think. As if that weren't enough, the bookmobile makes regular rounds, and I think you can find the locations of "Little Libraries" through their site also. If you haven't been in a while and just need a movie to watch or some new tunes to stuff in your ears, you must come in. Item return is super easy and instant. You can also look for items online and place holds on them. They'll notify you when it's being held and you can come in and pick it up. If you happen to get there before it's been shelved, they'll help you track it down. Easy 5 stars for this place. Go!
Full of natural light. Perfect atmosphere to curl up and read. Or connect to free wifi and get some work done. Most libraries seem stuffy, but this library is airy and centrally located. Right on Kirkwood, I consider it the heart of Bloomington. My favorite place to sit is on the second floor. The windows overlook the intersection of Kirkwood and Grant. If you like to journal and people watch, this is a quiet place to do just that. Compared to the Indianapolis Public Library, Monroe County libraries have a larger selection of music (that I'm interested in). There are other unique offerings here, too. Patrons can rent film equipment and create a show or program for Community Access Television (http://catstv.net/about.php). Patrons also have access to computers, language classes, Lynda.com software tutorials, and more. On the first floor, there's a huge auditorium where local events can be held. My only complaint is parking. The lot is small, and street parking is hard to come by in downtown Bloomington. So, put your walkin' boots on. Come check out books, movies, and music to your hearts content.
Abundant resources for children, countless books, amazing collection of movies. Grateful for public service and resources offered for children of all ages, and the adults (big kids at heart).
I love our library! I've lived in a few places and this is by far one of the best libraries I've had the pleasure of belonging to. Huge selection of books (and very willing to order books if you can't find what you're looking for), great natural light, cool art in the kids area along with books and toys (you can check out toys!! How cool is that!!), and spaces you can rent for free for meetings. They also have board games you can borrow in the VITAL space (which is a program that I so love that they do!). It's very welcoming to all and just a positive, awesome place to be. And it's FREE!! Love love love that. The kids area has an awesome enclosed baby play area and an enclosed and a non enclosed toddler area. There are also great programs for kids like story time and a singing something or other... I forget the name but my daughter enjoyed it a lot! Interlibrary loans are easy if you're wanting something a little more obscure and I've always found the librarians to be very helpful with questions. There are also some cool bear statues just to the side of the front of the library that you should check out whether you have kids or not! They have been featured in many a photo op :-)
I love this library and all the resources you have access to as a library-card holder. Big complaint is parking. If you are going to have a small parking lot like you do, then it should be limited to an hour or two so everyone can have a chance to park. Other then that lot, there are only metered spots and most of them are always taken due to the other businesses.
I grew up in the library and spent countless hours reading books, exploring, listening to records, watching puppet shows, participating in Kids Alive, watching films and interacting with the librarians. What an asset to the Bloomington community and my childhood. Thank you MCPL.
Excellent local library! Their collection of books is amazing, my previous local library simply does not compare. They have a pretty expansive music collection if you're interested in checking out CDs. Did I mention movies? They've got tons! They also have newly released films! Their children's area is fantastic too - music, movies, and books all in one place. You can browse their items/availability and get on wait lists for anything you want but is currently checked out - and you can do this from the comfort of your home with your online library account! They'll notify you once an item is returned and held for you so you'll know when to pick it up. They organize all the holds alphabetically on shelves dedicated to held items. Every interaction I have had with staff was been phenomenal! They're so friendly and helpful. If you aren't feeling up like interacting though, you don't have to! Once you have your library card you can make use of one of their several self check-out stations.
Have you any idea how good our public library is? If you are a reader you probably do. I have lived with some fine libraries (e.g. Cincinnati) and in places without good libraries (e.g. Zimbabwe) and I cherish ours. They have excellent online tools. They have efficient transfers out to the Ellettsville branch. Staff are unfailingly pleasant. Code cards make for quick and easy check out. Their drive through drop off (or pick up reserves) is a breeze.The outside is beautiful and contributes positively to the street. The inside is spacious, open and pleasant with meeting rooms and amenities and nice places to sit and read. The location is so central it astounds. Their parking lot is small but with the whole of the downtown for parking or (heaven forfend) one could walk a little ways to reach it. And the collection very seldom disappoints me. Yes, they may not have every single book by some author I am reading (or listening) through but it is a fine collection. My failures are usually something obscure or of small general interest to the wide reading world. (I am not being snobby, sometimes one gets into a very narrow private rabbit hole.) We should all be dancing for joy that we have such a fine library.
I love the sense of community in the public library. It is refreshing to see people from all walks of life gather together in one place. For that reason, I prefer it over the university libraries. The collection is incredibly well-stocked. My friend, who works for the animation industry, was particularly impressed with the graphic novel section. I was able to re-read many of my childhood books, and am able to keep up-to-date with what is popular for kids now. The movies and cd collection are likewise impressive, with many foreign titles in addition to western ones. I was able to garner a lot of life advice to various questions and problems from the extensive nonfiction section. The Friends of the Library bookstore offers amazing deals on gently-used books, cds, vhs tapes, LPs, and sheet music. I highly recommend a visit if you are looking for new reading material. Lastly, the staff is very helpful and courteous whenever I interact with them. When I had a library fee for water and mold damage on a book that had that damage before I checked it out, the worker I spoke with was very understanding of my situation. Whenever I am away from Bloomington for an extended period of time, I always miss the Monroe County Public Library and its welcoming atmosphere.
Over all, I love the library. Tons of selection in books, movies, CDs, (although the older CDs and DVDS are scratched to the point of unplayability) etc. and you can place requests that they get titles they currently don't have. Lots of soft seating and desks and a room dedicated to quiet study/reading. They also host many lectures, films, etc. and staff are, for the most part, very friendly and helpful. My only complaints stem from my time spent in the computer area. There are signs posted to "keep noise at a minimum," but I've yet to see this enforced in any way. Kids and adults are often talking loudly and no one bats an eye. Similarly, there's at least one desk worker who practically shouts everything she says, especially if it's over the phone. I'd like to see a variation in height of the computer desks as well. As a tall person, the keyboards on the desks are so low it causes physical pain to use them. But you get what you pay for, I guess.
Best library ever. I have never been unable to find what I'm looking for here. Very nice selection of horticulture books:-)
MCPL has an amazing selection of books, movies, and CDs! I was surprised moving to Bloomington from a larger city how extensive their collection is. They've acquired several books that I've suggested for purchase. Their online hold/reserve/renewal system is helpful and easy to use. They have a nice reading room area where I sometimes just grab a magazine and read while looking out onto Kirkwood Ave. If you're into bestsellers, the bestseller express is a great way to read one without waiting months to get it on reserve. The library is a Bloomington treasure!
With time to kill while visiting Bloomington and two children on Spring Break, this library was quickly found. It made two hours on a rainy day pass with ease. Lots of natural light, imaginative games and toys, a well planned toddler area, clean facilities, free parking and BOOKS! Free, fabulous and appreciated.