You are here

  • 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 Girl with the Red Balloon


Did you enjoy the movie Atomic Blond?  Are you fascinated by the complexities of the cold war and time travel?    If you answered yes to either of these questions then you are going to want to read this book.  This fantastic YA novel combines mystery, historical fiction, time-travel with dashes of magical realism and romance.  You would think that might be too much for one novel but author Katherine Locke blends the genres with aplomb, creating an engaging and thought provoking book.

 Teen protagonist Ellie randomly grabs a red balloon while on a class trip and travels back in time to 1988 Berlin.  She is transported into a Germany with guards, guns, spies and walls built to separate people. Ellie and the young people she meets in 1988 join together to use science and magic to help people escape East Berlin using red balloons.  How time travel and the red balloons work is a mystery to all, but Ellie and her companions are determined to figure it out so that they can return Ellie home.  As they investigate, the bodies of failed red balloon time travelers start to accumulate adding an urgency to this already thrilling story.  The story of Ellie’s grandfather’s escape from a Polish concentration camp in 1942 is interspersed throughout the book, eventually converging with Ellie’s.


This book is heavy but I loved reading it, especially learning about cold war, the holocaust and drawing parallels to what is happening in the world today. This timely story, written for older teens, is a “sensitive exploration of the long-lasting effects of war and subjugation.”  It is a powerful and eminently readable book and from October 1-15 it will be always available in ebook format for OPL library members.


You can read The Girl with the Red Balloon during Library Big Read happening from October 1-15.  It will be available for download from Overdrive for all Ottawa Public Library cardholders.  Take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy a great YA novel from Overdrive and OPL this fall.