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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.

Big Library Read - The Art of the Pie; An Experience


A review by Robin Gallagher, Librarian.

In my mother’s kitchen, pie-making was a full sensory experience: the feel of the dough (floury, sticky, cold), the taste of the fruit (covertly shoved into mouths while my mother batted our hands away), the sight of my mother (and her kitchen and her children) covered in flour, the sound of the oven heating up (I can still hear the clicking of our old oven trying desperately to get to temperature), and of course the smell of baking pie. Store bought pies were unheard of in our house. How unimaginable to receive the final product without the experience of pie-baking!

Pies were a special occasion, always, whether it was the marathon of late-summer summer pie-baking or a pie pulled out of the freezer in the dead of winter, and they were always devoured with gusto. Kate McDermott’s book is similarly delicious. The photos are mouth-watering, the recipes are easy to follow, and the instructions are interspersed with McDermott’s own family memories and personal insights. Curling up with this book is the equivalent of sitting in a warm kitchen and hearing stories from your mother while you wait for a pie to cook and cool.

In fact, McDermott’s humour and sensibility reminds me very much of my own mother – she writes earnestly but with humour about the tactile experience of pie-making, about her own childhood, about raising her children and – my favourite – about the “Clean the Oven Pie” (p 203) that everybody makes at one time. These little interludes are entertaining, but short, and you can ignore them and simply follow the recipes if you wish. But they are a delight to happen upon while you wait for your dough to chill, or your pie to bake or cool.


I dove into this book and made seven pies this weekend: a chilled chai pie, two blueberry pies, a blackberry and cherry pie, a strawberry pie, a pumpkin pie, and a Shaker blood orange pie. And, of course, the little cinnamon dough roll-ups that are such a delicious way to use leftover pastry.

You can dive into this book, too! Or convince a friend to do so with the hopes of gleaning some pie profits. Overdrive is offering Ottawa Public Library members free unlimited access to Kate McDermott’s Art of the Pie: a practical guide to homemade crusts, fillings, and life from March 16 to 30, 2017. The Big Library Reads pick will be available in eBook format for anyone to read instantly, without holds or waitlist!

And, while you’re in a food frame of mind, don’t forget to check out the OPL’s à la carte for special programming, book lists, and food tips.



Other recommended recipe, food, and pie-related items available at OPL:

Oh She Glows Every Day.

Pushing Daisies

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.