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Holds resumption – June 29


As part of the expansion of our returns and holds pickup service, we are happy to announce that holds on Library items can soon be placed.  Starting June 29, customers will once again be able to reserve items, with a temporary hold limit. 

For the latest information about contactless service, please refer to this page.

Effective July 15, 2020, masks are required to be worn inside Ottawa Public Library branches, as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law.


Where can I place holds? 

To place a hold, you can search or browse our collection through our catalogue. Log in to your OPL account and click on “place a hold” beside the item you’d like to reserve. 

Why is there a hold limit? 

The temporary hold limit is in place to help manage the volume of requests and allow materials to get out to customers in a timely and efficient manner. As of July 13, the hold limit will be increased to 50 items.

What is included in the hold limit? 

Any physical holds that are ready for pickup, in transit, not ready, or paused are included in your hold limit. The hold limit does not apply to digital holds (such as eBooks), which already have separate hold limits.  

I already have more than 50 holds. Can I place more holds? Am I going to lose my current holds? 

If you already have more than 50 holds, you will not lose these holds. However, you will not be able to place any more holds until your number of holds has dropped back under 50. 

I have more than 50 holds, but there are other items I want to reserve right now. What can I do? 

If you have more than 50 holds, you can cancel some of the holds you no longer want right now. You can keep track of these items by moving them to your “For Later” shelf in your account.  Please note that cancelling a hold and moving that item to your “For Later” shelf removes you from the hold waitlist. 

The “For Later” shelf is a great tool to keep track of items you are interested in, without taking up spots on your holds list. You can learn more about the “For Later” shelf here.  

When I go to place a hold, I can only choose certain branches as the pickup location. Why is that? 

The pickup location is currently limited to branches that are open or scheduled to open soon. You will have the option to select branches as pickup locations as their reopening dates approaches. 

I want to wait until my branch reopens to pick up my hold, but I’d like to get on the waiting list now. I can’t select my home branch as the pickup location - what can I do? 

You can place a hold now by selecting an open location for pickup. Make sure to pause your hold to keep your place in line. Leading up to re-opening of your branch, you can modify your hold to change the pickup location to your preferred branch. You can then resume your hold. 

I’ve been number 1 in line for an item for a little while, but it’s still showing as on the shelf. Why isn’t it moving? 

As some reserved items may currently be at closed branches, waiting times for holds may take longer than usual. Items at closed branches will not be available to fill holds until closer to those branches’ reopening dates.  


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1. It's June 29th and the books I want to borrow are still shown in the catalogue as "Available but not holdable." I thought new holds could be placed starting today. What's up?


You are correct - holds start today. We were doing some work on the catalogue to get everything ready for holds, but you should now be able to place your holds.

Thank you.

What is happening with new Express DVDs that arrived in March after the branches closed? I was under the impression we would be able to place holds for these. Some are already 3months old (i.e. 1917, etc.)


Yes, you can now place holds on Express items, including DVDs. We were doing some work on the catalogue this morning, but you should now be able to place holds on these items.

Thank you.

I’ve just looked at 2 records, “1917” and “Just Mercy” and one Still cannot place a hold.


Thank you for letting us know. Express items should be available for hold tomorrow. Thank you for your patience.

Sir / Madam,

The current (temporary) HOLD limit needs to be increased from 20 items to at least 30 to 40 items.
At least, twelve of my HOLDS will not be arriving anytime soon...

So, as a (personal) example, (here are some of my positions (#) versus (on) number of available copies): #91 on 15, #84 on 20, #60 on 23, #33 on 5, #33 on 5, #30 on 6, #22 on 7, #21 on 7, #21 on 2, #18 on 5, #17 on 1, #13 on 6, #11 on 5, and so on...

Yet, if I take your (current) - above - suggestion, and move any of the above items to my "For Later" List, I will lose my "spot" on the HOLD wait-list. (And for many of the above items, I would end up, even further down the list, when they were put back on my HOLD list.) That does not seem reasonable.

Furthermore, at this point, as I am "over" (at) the 20 items, "HOLD" list, I am unable to "request", the next available, when available, a "Victor Reader - Strauss ", a "Accessibility Device", for use with DAISY books that have arrived from CELA, since, I was unable to access any DAISY "Audio-books [CD]", from the OPL.

In closing, I am sure that I am not the only one, with numerous HOLD items that have an extended wait-list, before they will (ever) arrive. Added to that, being "blocked" with only a maximum of 20 HOLDS, and within that limit to also have included: Paused Items, In Transit Items, and Ready for Pick-Up, would suggest to me that the current maximum HOLD limit is far to low of a number.


I agree that 20 is very low, though having even 40 wouldn't help me. I'd be happy to keep it to 20 active (ie not paused) holds, though!

Thank you for your feedback. Our system is not currently designed to separate active holds from other holds, but we commit to exploring this over the coming weeks.

Just wondering if there was any update on your exploration of separating active and suspended holds? Or failing that, an end date for the 50-hold limit?

We understand your situation and have noted your feedback. To put a hold on the Victor Reader, please contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 and they can assist you.

For other items, please note that the current hold limit is needed in order to manage the volume and keep the holds service flowing to customers. Our system is not currently designed to separate different types of holds (paused, in transit, and ready), but we commit to exploring this over the coming weeks.

Thank you.

Will the Juvenile Express DVDs such as "Dolittle" also be available for holds?

Yes, we are currently working on making Juvenile Express DVDs, including "Dolittle," available for holds. Thank you.

Is there any date yet set for resumption of delivery of reserved materials to Homebound sites, such as retirement homes?

Thank you.


At this time Homebound delivery is available only to private residences. We do not yet have a date for when Homebound delivery to retirement homes and other sites will resume, but we will let everyone know when this is available.

Thank you.

I've placed a hold on a DVD that's available at my branch (Main). There are several copies "available" in the catalogue and nobody else has a hold on it (not only am I #1 in the Hold list, I'm the only person in the hold list).
When can I expect to pick up this hold?
I assumed it would be a matter of taking it from the shelf it's been sitting on since March, processing it as a hold (i.e. checking it out, putting the sticker on it, etc.), and it would be ready? I'd appreciate clarification on the process so I can plan accordingly.


Holds may take a little longer than usual to process due to increased volume. You will receive an email or phone call when you hold is ready, and you can then make an appointment to pick it up. Holds are being kept for 28 days to give you enough time and flexibility to make an appointment.

Thank you.

information is poorly provided. i read somewhere that an appointment is needed to get a hold but despite a LONG search I can't find that info again.