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  • Contactless Returns and Holds Pickup Service at OPL


    OPL offers contactless returns and holds pickup service at select branches, during new hours of operation. 

    • RETURNS will be accepted only during hours of operation, no appointment necessary. Due dates for currently checked out materials have been extended and late fees suspended. 
    • HOLDS PICKUP: As of July 27, appointments are no longer needed to pick up holds, except at Rosemount (temporary location). You can pick up your available holds during opening hours at branches offering contactless service.    
    • Rosemount (temporary location) will offer curbside service starting Monday, July 27. Holds pickups are by appointment only at this location. 
    • UPDATE: Starting Monday, August 17, additional in-person services will be offered at select branches and new branch locations will reopen. Find out more.

    Masks are required to be worn inside Ottawa Public Library branches, as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law. 
    For information about Library cards, virtual programs, and more, contact InfoService by phone or email. 


New media case study: when a blog makes it big


Early in 2006, David Hobby was a general assignment photographer for the Baltimore Sun, spending his days shooting a mixed bag of head shots, food features, and whatever else his editors wanted. As a side project, he had started a blog, a place to share free advice about his working methods in adapting studio lighting techniques to small flashes. By April, he was getting traction on the Web, and his after-hours project began to get life-changing serious.

Four years later, Hobby has turned Strobist -- a site hosted by Google-owned Blogspot that doesn't cost him a dime -- into the equivalent of an in-depth photography magazine read by 300,000 people a month. (He also presciently moved into full-time blogging before the Sun's withering round of newsroom layoffs last year.) In the process, he's created an ad-revenue stream that charges print-magazine rates (ranging from $2 to $5 per thousand page views) with exactly zero print overhead. (His fixed costs appear limited to keeping the lights on in his basement, keeping his Mac laptop running, and supplying himself with a steady stream of Diet Mountain Dew.) You can look at his main page and do the math yourself: he's not hurting.

To be sure, he's found a marketing sweet spot -- a dedicated, not to say obsessive, audience of upwardly mobile amateurs and pros, and an industry of specialized vendors wanting to find exactly those kind of people. Beyond the brilliant business model, though, Hobby has created a compelling mix that keeps his readers coming back: combining paywall-free instruction and the straight-shooting style of a skilled columnist.

More than a useful magazine, Strobist is also a personal connection to the author: comment on his blog and he might reply; post a photo to the Strobist Flickr group, and he might flag it as one of his own favourites. When you're method of media delivery includes churning paper off a press and sending it through the mail, creating an author-reader connection like this isn't nearly as easy.