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  • UPDATE – Provincial announcement regarding public libraries and pickups


    We greatly appreciate the Province’s announcement that as part of the first phase of reopening libraries can begin to offer pick-up or delivery of materials. 

    There is a lot of work to do be able to offer these services while ensuring the safety of our employees and our customers. Our plan to resume our physical services needs to account for physical distancing requirements, provision of personal protective equipment, enhanced sanitary controls, and new protocols for employees and customers. We are working on offering holds pick-ups as soon as we can safely do so.  

    We will be communicating all new developments in our service offering to you on all our platforms, as soon as we have updates. 

    Thank you for your patience as we move through this rapidly evolving situation. 


    OPL branches, Bookmobile stops and Homebound delivery services are closed until June 30, 2020. The closure is in response to advice from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) with regards to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as the situation evolves. Currently, please note:  

    • Due dates for all currently checked out materials have been extended and late fees suspended.
    • Book drops are not available since branches are closed. Hold on to OPL items and return them when branches reopen. 
    • Holds are suspended, and pick up expiry dates extended. This includes interlibrary loans (ILL).
    • Meeting room rentals are cancelled, and fees are being refunded; and
    • Computer bookings, programs, events and outreach activities are cancelled.
    • Expired cards, or those about to expire, have been extended. 

    You can use the Library online:

    We thank you for your patience and support, and we look forward to seeing you online and in person again soon.

FAQs on Fees and Loan Periods

1. Will I be charged a fee if I cancel my hold before the expiry date?

No. If you cancel your hold before the expiry date, you will not be charged the fee. You can cancel your holds:

  • On the OPL website, when signed in to your account
  • In person at any of the 33 branches or at a Bookmobile stop
  • By calling Telecirc at 613-580-2535

Holds can be cancelled while the item is on the holds shelf or in transit, or if the hold is still pending.

Please note that you cannot cancel your hold from the OPL app when the item is in transit or on the holds shelf. 


2. Is there a fee for expired eBook holds?

No, since there is no wait time on expired eBooks and no cost associated with transporting eBooks.


3. Do I have to pay the $1 fee even if I did not receive a hold notification?

Hold notifications are a courtesy service that the Library provides. You will be held responsible for your expired holds, even if you did not receive notification of the hold.

You can sign up for phone and/or email hold notifications on the OPL website, by calling or emailing InfoService at 613-580-2940 or, or by calling Telecirc at 613‑580‑2535.  

Customers are expected to monitor and manage their library requests on an ongoing basis, so they are aware of any holds available for pick‑up.


4. What are the maximum late fees per item?

The maximum late fee per adult item (except for interlibrary loans and the telescope) is $20.

The maximum late fee for most children and teen items (except for interlibrary loans and express items) is $5 per item.


5. What are the loan periods and fees for different items?

Please consult the full list of loan periods and fees.


6. Is there a charge to renew an item?

There is no charge for renewals.


7. How many renewals am I allowed?

Unlimited renewals are allowed on all items except for:

  • Express materials
  • Interlibrary loans
  • iPads
  • Assistive devices
  • Imagine Space tools
  • Items requested by another customer 


8. What are the non-resident fees?

The annual non-resident fee is $80 per person and $160 per family. The fees reflect the average annual cost ($81) of Ottawa Public Library services to an Ottawa taxpayer.


9. Do I have to pay processing fees?

Yes, there is a $20 rush processing fee for express items, as demand for them is high and urgent.


10. Can I provide my own replacement copy?

Customers have to pay the replacement price for lost or damaged items. The replacement price is based on the actual price the Library paid for the item. 

11. Are fees for lost media bags/cases and repairable damage being removed?


12. Is the fee structure reviewed at any time?

Yes, the fee structure is reviewed each year as part of the budget process.


13. Does the Library depend on revenue from fees?

No, fees are not a significant part of the Library’s overall budget. Revenue from fees represents approximately 4% of the Library’s overall budget.


14. What happens if I don't pay my fees? 

  • If you have outstanding fees totalling $50.00 or more, your account will be referred to a recovery agency after 60 days and a $15.00 referral fee will be added to your account. 
  • Ottawa Public Library uses a recovery agency to assist in the timely retrieval of fees and materials to ensure fair access to all customers. 
  • If your account has been referred to a recovery agency, your Library privileges will be suspended until the account is fully paid. Please be aware that it will affect the personal credit rating of adult card holders, if the necessary payment or payment arrangement is not made.  
  • Please visit any Ottawa Public Library branch and/or call 613-580-2940 for additional information.