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Library services during provincial shutdown

Curbside holds pickup and returns logo

Dec 22, 2020

Ottawa Public Library will be scaling back some of its services in compliance with the provincial shutdown set to begin on December 26.  

Services offered during the shutdown period 

OPL will offer curbside returns and holds pickup only, at open branches and Bookmobile stops. Delivery for Homebound Services customers in their own homes will also continue during this period.    

Customers will be able to return Library items and pick up holds without an appointment. Items can be returned during opening hours only. Customers must bring their library cards and line up at the branch entrance to pick up their holds and return items. Employees will facilitate the collection and pick up of materials.  

The hours of operation for open branches will remain the same, and holiday hours can be found on the OPL website. For details, please visit the Hours and Locations page

Services unavailable during the shutdown period 

As per provincial regulations, customers will not be allowed inside the branches during this time. In-branch services will not be available during the shutdown period. In addition, ski passes and museum passes will not be available, and Kiosk Services at the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre will be closed.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to respond to provincial directions on what services we can provide. We look forward to seeing you back in person as soon as we can!


Greatly appreciated

Thank you the library staff for providing this great service in difficult times. We will miss browsing as a very important part of the library experience, but we are grateful for the access to the indispensable physical items. While sparing a thought for patrons without a computer to book the items, we greatly appreciate the effort. Thank you.

The OPL is Greatly Appreciated and Respected

I am a frequent user of the OPL with many titles being borrowed and returned within a small period of time on a frequent basis. I wish to obtain clarification regarding the following: a} What is the status of items returned on or before their due date(s) in terms of being credited to their accounts? b) In the case of items to be picked up, is the client required to telephone ahead of time in order to make arrangements? c) I experienced a situation on Tuesday, 22 Dec/20 at 12:30 where I wanted to return books at the outside feeder/dropbox at Elmvale Acres but it was enclosed and locked. A message above the box provided a telephone number to call for more information. When I returned at about 13:05, the feeder/dropbox was unlocked and as another client was depositing books, I did so as well. The questions are: Do we have certain hours whereby we can drop off books to external dropboxes or can we not have the 24 hours per day, 7 days per weeks availability to deposit returns? If the dropboxes are only available during hours when the library is open, what is the point of of having them when it essentially means that the library client has to visit the library during open hours in order to effect returns? Thank you for your consideration Mark Turnbull

The OPL is Greatly Appreciated and Respected

Hello, Thank you for your questions. a) Items may appear on your account for up to a week after they are returned because we are quarantining returned items for 72 hours before processing them. You will not be charged any late fees. b) You do not need to make an appointment to return your items or pick up your holds. You will be able to line up outside the branch any time during opening hours, and an employee will be there to bring your items to you. Please bring your library card with you to pick up your holds. c) We are currently only accepting returns during opening hours as part of our new health and safety protocols during COVID-19. Branches have Saturday and evening hours throughout the week as part of their opening hours. You can find the hours for branches here: We are no longer charging late fees for overdue items. Thank you.

Renewal Limits

Given the current lockdown on Ontario, forcing patrons to return all materials that currently have 5 or more renewals immediately is unfair and unwise. The library's renewal system will now only allow items to be renewed that have 4 or less renewals. I predicted this problem once the information about the library's new policies regarding late fees, renewal limits, etc., was posted in mid-December. I called Infoservice and was reassured that, starting in January, patrons would be allowed 5 MORE renewals, and then would have to return their items. Given that renewals are for 3 weeks, 5 renewals would allow patrons to have until mid-April to return their items. Now, patrons will be forced to return their items during a lockdown, when we are only supposed to leave our homes for essential purposes. I therefore ask library staff to allow all patrons to have 5 additional renewals starting today (January 1, 2021) to finish using their borrowed items. Even though no late fees are applied to a patron's account for 21 days after an item becomes late, after 21 days the patron is charged for the item and only one or two items would cause the patron's account to be suspended (which occurs when the patron owes $25.00 or more), and they are then locked out of the library's system. Instead of facilitating access to the library, this policy will have quite the opposite effect. Especially considering it is being enacted during a province wide lockdown, it is unconscionable.

Renewal Limits

Hello. Our new renewal limit is to ensure that items can be borrowed by other customers. During the provincial shutdown, we are providing curbside service, where customers can return their items outside branches without entering the building. Physical distancing and mask-wearing remain in place. If you cannot renew your items and are not able to travel to a branch at this time, please contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 for assistance. Thank you.

Card Renewal?

Hello, I was wondering how we can renew our library cards?

Card Renewal?

Hello, Please contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 to renew your card. Thank you.