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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.

The Barbers: an Ottawa Family History


Born a slave in Kentucky in 1848, Paul Barber learned to train and care for horses on his owner’s farms.  By the time he came to Ottawa in the late 1880s, he was a highly skilled horseman who was sought out by the city’s élites to train their prized horses.  Barber became one of Ottawa’s first Black permanent residents. His marriage in 1892 to Elizabeth Brown of Renfrew is the first known interracial marriage in the city.  Settling in Sandy Hill, the Barbers had five children, and their descendants thrive in Ottawa to this day.  In 2016, a section of Clarence Street in Lowertown was renamed Barber Street in tribute to Paul Barber.

Join us at the Main Branch February 1, at 7 p.m., as Thomas Barber, Paul’s grandson, shares the story of this remarkable man and his family.

Thomas Barber was awarded the 2017 John G. Dennison Award for excellence in the study, preservation and promotion of Canadian Black History and Culture.

Register here for The Barbers: an Ottawa Family History

Please note:  The Main branch parking garage elevator is out of service. We ask that customers avoid parking there. If you are attending an event at the Main branch or the auditorium, and you have accessibility issues, please refer to the 1st floor service hub. OPL staff will assist you to the auditorium, which is located on the lower level of the Main branch. Thank you, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

L’ascenseur du stationnement souterrain de la succursale Centrale est présentement hors d’usage. Nous vous conseillons d’éviter de l’utiliser. Par contre, si vous avez des problèmes de mobilités veuillez vous présenter au point de service principal de la succursale. Des employés de la succursale vous accompagneront jusqu’à l’auditorium, situé dans le sous-sol de la succursale Centrale.

Merci de votre compréhension.