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  • UPDATE – Provincial announcement regarding public libraries and pickups


    We greatly appreciate the Province’s announcement that as part of the first phase of reopening libraries can begin to offer pick-up or delivery of materials. 

    There is a lot of work to do be able to offer these services while ensuring the safety of our employees and our customers. Our plan to resume our physical services needs to account for physical distancing requirements, provision of personal protective equipment, enhanced sanitary controls, and new protocols for employees and customers. We are working on offering holds pick-ups as soon as we can safely do so.  

    We will be communicating all new developments in our service offering to you on all our platforms, as soon as we have updates. 

    Thank you for your patience as we move through this rapidly evolving situation. 


    OPL branches, Bookmobile stops and Homebound delivery services are closed until June 30, 2020. The closure is in response to advice from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) with regards to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as the situation evolves. Currently, please note:  

    • Due dates for all currently checked out materials have been extended and late fees suspended.
    • Book drops are not available since branches are closed. Hold on to OPL items and return them when branches reopen. 
    • Holds are suspended, and pick up expiry dates extended. This includes interlibrary loans (ILL).
    • Meeting room rentals are cancelled, and fees are being refunded; and
    • Computer bookings, programs, events and outreach activities are cancelled.
    • Expired cards, or those about to expire, have been extended. 

    You can use the Library online:

    We thank you for your patience and support, and we look forward to seeing you online and in person again soon.

This Bag has a Story

Two OPL customers holding their new Book Bags

This bag has a story.

Since Library Month (October) 2017, you may have seen some dark blue denim book bags around the city: hanging off the back of a chair in a café, slung over a shoulder on campus, sitting among grocery bags on the bus, or appearing in parks or along winter trails. It is great to see these special book bags being appreciated. Most of all, we hope to see every bag filled with books. This limited-edition bag will continue to be gifted to our customers and to people in the community who support our mission.

The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) seeks to inspire learning, spark curiosity, and connect people. To mark Canada 150, we celebrated Storytelling in all its forms. From Canadian classics like Anne of Green Gables to modern-day stories and songs from Chris Hadfield, OPL had a banner year in 2017 with our theme of Storytelling. 

The best stories have multiple layers, lessons, and meanings. They make us think, reflect, and pause as we read. We consider what the story wants to tell us. In the end, we take away a deeper understanding of the world to apply in our daily lives. 

This bag has a story about inspiring learning. 

EcoEquitable is a bilingual, registered Canadian charity in Ottawa that empowers and inspires newcomers and immigrants who arrive in Canada to acquire skills and enter the workforce with dignity and confidence. Women workers at EcoEquitable’s Vanier atelier used newfound skills and upcycled denim fabric to create these bags. We are honoured to have collaborated with this organisation to support employment, learning, and skills development for new immigrants and underemployed women with these locally made, sustainable book bags. 

This bag has a story about sparking curiosity.  

OPL’s 33 branches are community hubs throughout Ottawa, offering a wide variety of resources, programs, and services to spark curiosity for all ages and levels of learning. During Library Month 2017, we distributed these special book bags at each of our branches and at several select OC Transpo stations to library customers and lovers of literacy. Thousands of these bags throughout Ottawa will carry books and stories for years to come.

This bag has a story about connecting people. 

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) is a steadfast benefactor of programs, services, and facilities at OPL. Since amalgamation in 2003, they have donated more than $3 million to enrich OPL and, consequently, the communities that we serve. FOPLA’s generous donation enabled us to select this bag and tell its story. The ‘Friends’ work tirelessly to support the mission of OPL and connect people through volunteer initiatives, book sales, and advocacy for a strong public library. 

This bag has a story. 

And now, that story includes you. 


What a wonderful project! I wish these were for sale so I could get my hands on, and my books in, one.