Frequently Asked Questions on borrowing materials

Can I return items at any Ottawa Public Library branch?

Yes, library items may be returned to any OPL branch or the bookmobile. For your convenience, book drops are available at all branches.

How do I renew my library card?

You can renew your library card by visiting any library branch. You will need to show your library card and pay any outstanding charges on your account before it can be renewed. Cards are renewed for one year.

I returned an item on the due date, but it was still listed on my account the next day. I renewed it and received a fee. Why?

Items returned on the due date may not be removed from your account immediately. No fees will be charged because all items returned are backdated to the day of return when they are checked in. Please do not renew items you have already returned as the system does not recognize that the item needs to be backdated and it will therefore treat the item as overdue and automatically charge a fee.

What are the charges for lost or damaged items?

  • Repairable damage: $8.00
  • Lost media case: $2.00
  • Lost multimedia bag: $2.00
  • Replacement library card - adult: $5.00
  • Replacement library card - child or teen: $1.00
  • NSF cheque: $39.00

You are responsible for items borrowed on your library card. If an item is lost or damaged, you will be charged the cost of the item, plus a processing fee. You are responsible for paying the replacement cost plus the processing fee.

What are the loan periods and fees?

Not all Library material has the same loan period. Material returned past the due date is considered overdue and incurs a fee. A fee is automatically added to the customer's account. View the complete list of loan periods and fees.

What do I do if my library card is lost or stolen?

A library card is like a credit card. If it is lost or stolen, report it right away. Anything signed out on your card is your responsibility until the card is reported missing. Replacement cards cost $5 for adults and $1 for young adults and children. Please bring identification when you come to replace it.

What happens if I delay in paying outstanding charges?

Overdue accounts with a balance of $50 or more will be sent to a recovery agency.

What if a library item damages my equipment?

The Library is not responsible for damage caused by CDs, DVDs, videocassettes or other audio-visual materials borrowed from its collections. Borrowers use all audio-visual materials at their own risk and should use caution when playing such materials on their equipment.

Why are charges for audio-visual materials higher than for books?

The DVDs, CDs, videos and CD-ROMs are smaller collections used by a large number of people. To ensure fair access to these very popular collections, fees were set to encourage borrowers to return items promptly so other library patrons may borrow them also.

Why are items I returned still showing on my account?

During busy times of the year and after statutory holidays, it can take up to three days to process the extra volume of returned items. These items are backdated to the day of return when they are checked in so that no overdue fines are charged if they are returned by the due date. If returned items remain on your record for more than three days, contact the branch where you returned the items.