Regular hours resume on September 7 2021

03/09/2021

Ottawa Public Library will return to regular pre-pandemic hours at most branches starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021 — including Sunday hours at 10 branches and InfoService as of Sunday, September 12.  

Hours are posted at branch entrances and on the Hours and location page of the OPL website.   

Fitzroy Harbour and Vernon branches are reopening after being closed since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.  

Notice - Carlingwood branch

17/09/2021

The elevator at the Carlingwood branch is currently unavailable.

Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre kiosk out of service

13/09/2021

The kiosk machine dispensing adult books at the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre is currently unavailable.

Rideau branch-Elevator out of service

15/09/2021

The elevator at Rideau is currently out of service for maintenance and repairs. Service will be restored on Monday, September 27th.

You are here

OPL services  during the Stay-at-Home Order

Apr 08, 2021

With the announcement of a provincial emergency and stay-at-home order, we have decided to return to curbside services – that is providing holds pickup and returns services at the branch entrance. Starting today, April 8, customers will no longer be permitted to enter.

Hours of operation will remain the same. The Bookmobile and Homebound Services will continue to operate, as well as online programming and services. 

Cardholders will be able to return Library items and pick up holds without an appointment by lining up at the branch entrance. Employees will be available at the door to help. We thank you for your patience as it may take time to retrieve items and check out holds.

Borrowed items can only be returned when branches are open. We know that 24-hour book return is one of the services our cardholders want back the most. We are testing a possible solution that still follows the quarantine requirement and health guidelines.

We continue to follow direction from the Province of Ontario and guidance from Ottawa Public Health to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and as such, mask-wearing outside in line remains mandatory.

If you have further questions, please contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 or InfoService@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.

We look forward to expanding in-person services again when it is safe to do so. Until then, please explore OPL’s digital collection and enjoy a wide variety of virtual programming in addition to the current curbside service for physical items. Please take care and stay well.

Comments

PUBLIC Libraries are an ESSENTIAL Service, not a Luxury

Ref: PUBLIC Libraries are an ESSENTIAL Service, not a Luxury Sir / Madam, The OPL (Management) has decided that a segment of the residents of the City of Ottawa are to be disenfranchised, specifically, those who are part of the “digital divide”. That is those without 24/7 access to a computing device with (secure) “high-speed” Internet or a printer, scanner, or a photocopier at home or work. The recent notice on OPL Blog (website) states: “With the announcement of a provincial emergency and stay-at-home order, we have decided to return to curbside services…Starting today, April 8, customers will no longer be permitted to enter...Until then, please explore OPL’s digital collection and enjoy a wide variety of virtual programming” (NOTE: How is that possible without a computing device with an Internet connection?) Above Taken From: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/blogs/opl-services%E2%80%AFduring-stay-home-order (Dated: April 8th, 2021) Yet the recent ONT Gov't website states (a) “... Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises < libraries > to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. (b) Here (below) is the full extract, including the “library” reference: https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown (… in effect as of Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m...) Libraries Circulating materials must be reserved over the telephone or online for contactless curbside, delivery or pick-up. Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. Patrons must not: be in the book stacks handle circulating materials that are shelved or in other areas of library storage Circulating materials returned to the library must be disinfected or quarantined before they are recirculated. Other permitted services include: child care services mental health and addiction support services, to a limit of 10 people social services Furthermore, the OPL Board of Trustees is comprised of nine members, of which, four are (Ottawa) City Counsellors. That would suggest that those four city counsellors are accepting that a segment of their electorate are to be systemically disenfranchised. Once again, I query? How many of the OPL (Management and Staff), the OPL Board of Trustees, the City of Ottawa (Appointed, Elected, or Staff) or any of the Management or Staff with Ottawa Public Health are without access 24/7, either at work or home to computing devices, printers, scanners, photocopiers, or other related “technical” services. I would surmise, very few. And how much would any of these individuals get done, if suddenly, they had absolutely no access to technical services for four or more weeks. Again, the answer is nothing. Yet, that is what the OPL (Management) and the others have (once again) unilaterally imposed on a segment of the residents of the City of Ottawa, who are without these resources at home or work. Meanwhile, how is it that according to the recent announcement on the ONT Gov't website, (link referenced earlier) it states: “Motor vehicle sales...recreational vehicles including motor homes; trailers and travel trailers; boats and other watercraft;...” So, “purchasing” a (recreational) “...boat or other watercraft...“ vehicle is deemed to be essential, and the OPL (Management) seems to believe that systemically cutting off (or excluding) those who must use the OPL Technical Services (Computers, Internet, Printers, Scanner, or Photocopiers) is acceptable? I think not. Skewed Priorities? In my view, (and those that I have queried, say), that the purchase of a (recreational) “boat or watercraft” vehicle is a luxury. Whereas access to “Technical Services” at the OPL is ESSENTIAL. What else is ESSENTIAL? How is it that some discount stores have recently informed some individuals, that diapers are not an essential need or that the purchase of a birthday card for a 95 year old senior, in lock-down, is not a necessity? Not everybody can afford to shop, either in person or on-line, at the “big-name” retail stores. The discount stores are not luxuries, but are absolutely a daily necessity for “day to day” purchases, for those with limited (financial) resources. And that necessity extends to individuals who need to use the OPL Technical Services. (That includes computers with (secure) “high-speed” Internet or a printer, scanner, or a photocopier.) In a nutshell, it is my belief that the OPL (Management) is out of touch with the “day to day” needs of a segment of its patrons, specifically, those individuals, who are a part of the “digital divide”. Cordially yours, dpi Prior Inputted Comments: (Friday) April 2nd, 2021 Sir / Madam, Apparently, it seems that ALL of the OPL Branches are ALL of the SAME size. However, any individuals, like myself, who have been to multiple OPL locations, know that is certainly not the reality. So, the decision by the OPL Management to mandate access to only ONE computer, at each of the 28 of 31 open branches is unreasonable and excessively restricted, especially for those who are part of the “DIGITAL DIVIDE”. (That is those, who lack 24/7 access at home or work to a computing device with a high-speed Internet service or a printer or scanner <or photocopier>.) The following extract is taken from: https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown (On Friday April 1st, 2021) Libraries Circulating materials must be reserved over the telephone or online for contactless curbside, delivery or pick-up. Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. Patrons must not: be in the book stacks handle circulating materials that are shelved or in other areas of library storage Circulating materials returned to the library must be disinfected or quarantined before they are recirculated. Other permitted services include: child care services mental health and addiction support services, to a limit of 10 people social services Prior Inputted Comments: (Saturday) March 20th, 2021 REF: Libraries are ESSENTIAL Services Sir / Madam, In addition to the necessity of the re-opening of the OPL "24 /7 - (Return) Drop-Boxes". There is a significant need for INCREASED access, to the "PUBLIC" computers. Only being able to access a COMPUTER with an Internet connection and a SCANNER, PRINTER, or (COPIER), for a hour or less a day, and that excludes Sundays, when numerous branches are usually open, from September to June, but (still) continue to be closed. Coupled with the (on-going) Sunday closures, the current (overall) branch hours are insufficient, especially, the evening hours, from Monday to Thursday. As well, individuals must be able to book a computer, over a seven-day period, not the current dismal, only three days and individuals need to be able to book for two or more consecutive hours, each day. For those many OPL Management and Employees, who are NOT part of the "DIGITAL DIVIDE. That is to say, they do not lack "24/7 access to "high-speed" Internet, linked to a computing device, along with a connected scanner, printer, or copier", I would suggest that each one should try to function, for at least a week, within the current OPL parameters for accessing a "PUBLIC" computer. I propose that their (or your) overall ability to function (well) at work or home, or both would be severely curtailed. Yet, that is the what the OPL, as well as the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada have unilaterally imposed on individuals and families, who are part of the "digital divide", for now over one year. For those individuals and families, who are part of the "digital divide", the "PUBLIC" library, whether in Ottawa or elsewhere in Canada, is an absolute necessity. Cordially yours, - A Concerned Patron -

Re: PUBLIC Libraries are an ESSENTIAL Service, not a Luxury

Thank you for sharing your concerns about computer access at OPL. We responded by email, but those who read the OPL blog may also be interested in knowing that the Library has continued to work towards digital inclusion during the pandemic. Some ways we have explored how to do this include providing outdoor WiFi access, and lending more than 200 Chromebooks as well as 20 WiFi hotspots to those in need, with the help of community partners. Access to computers, printing and photocopying inside OPL branches is on pause during the current stay-at-home order (as of April 8). Of course we want to provide these services, while also keeping our communities and employees safe. Updates will be posted as soon as possible. Until then, we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.

Drop boxes

If you cannot open 24 hour drop boxes in the immediate future, please please please extend due date for materials until after the lockdown as was done last spring. It is dangerous to force people into interactions and crowded line-ups just to return items. I would not have checked out items if I knew I would be unable to have a ZERO CONTACT method of returning them, like I did before the current lockdowns.

While I agree 24 hour drop

While I agree 24 hour drop boxes should be available, especially now, please note that are no longer fees for keeping items past their due date. Just keep them until you can safely return them.

Essential services, digital divide and catalogue

As an avid reader of printed books, I agree that the library services are essential. And judging from my branch, the Main Branch, OPL is doing an excellent job in the circumstances. As a senior, I also agree that there is a digital divide in the population. But this concern should be addressed to the politicians, not the library staff. The greatest danger in the pandemic are tight enclosed spaces, and the virus does not make a distinction between customers enjoying drinks in a bar and patrons sitting at tightly spaced computers. I miss printing as an essential service (since e.g. the city requires a printout of its own appointment confirmation), so the government should address its own contradictions. But as a fan of bookshelf browsing, I am glad that such an enclosed space is not contributing to the spread. My only concern is that I hope the opportunity would not be used to further cull the catalogue, because the usage statistics will not reflect true needs without in-person library visits. Other than that, I am very thankful to the staff for their excellent work.

Thank you

Smarjano wrote: "I am very thankful to the staff for their excellent work." Those words really resonated with me and reminded me how I feel about libraries. I would like to add my own words of appreciation to the staff and for the library system. I've always been a big fan and now I get to say how wonderful and blessed I feel to have access to so much resource (staff, books, technology, etc.) It is all very much appreciated.

OPL Library

The OPL Library has provided great service in this time of a crisis brought about by Covid-19. For the last 30 plus years I have been a regular patron. Thank you very much. Anthony Martyres

REF: Capital of Canada – Ottawa: OPL: Sheriff of Nottingham

REF: Capital of Canada – Ottawa: OPL: Sheriff of Nottingham FOCUS: “ Libraries … Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. … “ TO: Mayor & entire Ottawa City Council, CC: OPL Board of Trustees, OPL Senior Management and some staff, OPH, and other diverse “government” (elected or appointed) representatives Mayor Watson & entire Ottawa City Council, Here below is an "add-on" that was not completely included, in an earlier e-mail, of the same date (May 20th, 2021): Below Sent (Friday) April 30th, 2021: Mr. Robert, FYR...Below, I have included the link to the (published) article and following the link is an added comment, that I sent to a few friends, who had read the article: https://centretownbuzz.com/2021/04/16/centretowner-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-ottawa-public-librarys-digital-divide/?cxn=opl&cxk=db (Centretowner on the wrong side of the Ottawa Public Library’s digital divide < Page 1 + 11 >) The (OPL) finance (budget) numbers near the end of the article, researched by the editor (Alayne McGregor) and her team “tell” a “telling tale”. These numbers only reinforce to me that the OPL (Management and Board of Trustees) have “used” aspects of “COVID-19” to further their agenda at the expense of diverse OPL Patrons. One specific demographic are those (digital divide) patrons who rely on the OPL “Technical Services” (Computers with (Secure) High-Speed Internet Access along with Printers and Scanners, as well as Photocopiers) . Beyond the OPL, I believe that there are many organizations (Business, Gov't, NGOs, and Services (Community) as well as some individuals) that have imposed restrictions in the name (or under the guise) of “COVID-19”, but, those “restrictions” have absolutely nothing to with “COVID-19”. Right now, (continuing) at the top of my list is the OPL. Below, the following “beginning” section was sent, prior to the above “add-on” on May 20th, 2021, to all of the “cc” noted above and to: Mayor Watson & entire Ottawa City Council, Each of you (continue) to disenfranchise a segment of YOUR electorate, by continuing to disallow access to “technical services” (computers with (secure) high-speed Internet, printers, scanners, and photocopiers) at the OPL (Ottawa Public Library). Effectively, Mayor Watson and the entire Ottawa City Council have chosen to ensure that those of their electorate, the ones who are part of the “digital divide”, are not worthy and are systemically excluded from the community. Here below are a number of links: Extracted from: https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown Libraries … Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. … Yet, the OPL and the OPL Board of Trustees, in conjunction with the Ottawa Mayor and the entire City Council have profited, with a 24% surplus, in the OPL budget. That “surplus” has partially been derived by depriving “essential” services to those of the “digital divide”. As noted above (and below), those residents of the City of Ottawa, who are a part of the “digital divide”, that is lacking or without access to “technical services” (computers with (secure) high-speed Internet, printers, scanners, and photocopiers) continue to disenfranchised and systemically excluded from the community. Following are just a sampling of the (recent) communication to the OPL, OPL Board of Trustees, OPH, and diverse “government” (elected or appointed) representatives: The following was sent on (Friday) April 9th, 2021: Ref: PUBLIC Libraries are an ESSENTIAL Service, not a Luxury Sir / Madam, The OPL (Management) has decided that a segment of the residents of the City of Ottawa are to be disenfranchised, specifically, those who are part of the “digital divide”. That is those without 24/7 access to a computing device with (secure) “high-speed” Internet or a printer, scanner, or a photocopier at home or work. The recent notice on OPL Blog (website) states: “With the announcement of a provincial emergency and stay-at-home order, we have decided to return to curbside services…Starting today, April 8, customers will no longer be permitted to enter...Until then, please explore OPL’s digital collection and enjoy a wide variety of virtual programming” (NOTE: How is that possible without a computing device with an Internet connection?) Above Taken From: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/blogs/opl-services%E2%80%AFduring-stay-home-order (Dated: April 8th, 2021) Yet the recent ONT Gov't website states (a) “... Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises < libraries > to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. (b) Here (below) is the full extract, including the “library” reference: https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown (… in effect as of Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m...) Libraries Circulating materials must be reserved over the telephone or online for contactless curbside, delivery or pick-up. Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. Patrons must not: be in the book stacks handle circulating materials that are shelved or in other areas of library storage Circulating materials returned to the library must be disinfected or quarantined before they are recirculated. Other permitted services include: child care services mental health and addiction support services, to a limit of 10 people social services Furthermore, the OPL Board of Trustees is comprised of nine members, of which, four are (Ottawa) City Counsellors. That would suggest that those four city counsellors are accepting that a segment of their electorate are to be systemically disenfranchised. Once again, I query? How many of the OPL (Management and Staff), the OPL Board of Trustees, the City of Ottawa (Appointed, Elected, or Staff) or any of the Management or Staff with Ottawa Public Health are without access 24/7, either at work or home to computing devices, printers, scanners, photocopiers, or other related “technical” services. I would surmise, very few. And how much would any of these individuals get done, if suddenly, they had absolutely no access to technical services for four or more weeks. Again, the answer is nothing. Yet, that is what the OPL (Management) and the others have (once again) unilaterally imposed on a segment of the residents of the City of Ottawa, who are without these resources at home or work. Meanwhile, how is it that according to the recent announcement on the ONT Gov't website, (link referenced earlier) it states: “Motor vehicle sales...recreational vehicles including motor homes; trailers and travel trailers; boats and other watercraft;...” So, “purchasing” a (recreational) “...boat or other watercraft...“ vehicle is deemed to be essential, and the OPL (Management) seems to believe that systemically cutting off (or excluding) those who must use the OPL Technical Services (Computers, Internet, Printers, Scanner, or Photocopiers) is acceptable? I think not. Skewed Priorities? In my view, (and those that I have queried, say), that the purchase of a (recreational) “boat or watercraft” vehicle is a luxury. Whereas access to “Technical Services” at the OPL is ESSENTIAL. What else is ESSENTIAL? How is it that some discount stores have recently informed some individuals, that diapers are not an essential need or that the purchase of a birthday card for a 95 year old senior, in lock-down, is not a necessity? Not everybody can afford to shop, either in person or on-line, at the “big-name” retail stores. The discount stores are not luxuries, but are absolutely a daily necessity for “day to day” purchases, for those with limited (financial) resources. And that necessity extends to individuals who need to use the OPL Technical Services. (That includes computers with (secure) “high-speed” Internet or a printer, scanner, or a photocopier.) In a nutshell, it is my belief that the OPL (Management) is out of touch with the “day to day” needs of a segment of its patrons, specifically, those individuals, who are a part of the “digital divide”. Cordially yours, dpi Prior Inputted Comments: (Friday) April 2nd, 2021 Sir / Madam, Apparently, it seems that ALL of the OPL Branches are ALL of the SAME size. However, any individuals, like myself, who have been to multiple OPL locations, know that is certainly not the reality. So, the decision by the OPL Management to mandate access to only ONE computer, at each of the 28 of 31 open branches is unreasonable and excessively restricted, especially for those who are part of the “DIGITAL DIVIDE”. (That is those, who lack 24/7 access at home or work to a computing device with a high-speed Internet service or a printer or scanner <or photocopier>.) The following extract is taken from: https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown (On Friday April 1st, 2021) Libraries Circulating materials must be reserved over the telephone or online for contactless curbside, delivery or pick-up. Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services. Patrons must not: be in the book stacks handle circulating materials that are shelved or in other areas of library storage Circulating materials returned to the library must be disinfected or quarantined before they are recirculated. Other permitted services include: child care services mental health and addiction support services, to a limit of 10 people social services Prior Inputted Comments: (Saturday) March 20th, 2021 REF: Libraries are ESSENTIAL Services Sir / Madam, In addition to the necessity of the re-opening of the OPL "24 /7 - (Return) Drop-Boxes". There is a significant need for INCREASED access, to the "PUBLIC" computers. Only being able to access a COMPUTER with an Internet connection and a SCANNER, PRINTER, or (COPIER), for a hour or less a day, and that excludes Sundays, when numerous branches are usually open, from September to June, but (still) continue to be closed. Coupled with the (on-going) Sunday closures, the current (overall) branch hours are insufficient, especially, the evening hours, from Monday to Thursday. As well, individuals must be able to book a computer, over a seven-day period, not the current dismal, only three days and individuals need to be able to book for two or more consecutive hours, each day. For those many OPL Management and Employees, who are NOT part of the "DIGITAL DIVIDE. That is to say, they do not lack "24/7 access to "high-speed" Internet, linked to a computing device, along with a connected scanner, printer, or copier", I would suggest that each one should try to function, for at least a week, within the current OPL parameters for accessing a "PUBLIC" computer. I propose that their (or your) overall ability to function (well) at work or home, or both would be severely curtailed. Yet, that is the what the OPL, as well as the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada have unilaterally imposed on individuals and families, who are part of the "digital divide", for now over one year. For those individuals and families, who are part of the "digital divide", the "PUBLIC" library, whether in Ottawa or elsewhere in Canada, is an absolute necessity. Cordially yours, - A Concerned Patron -