• Contactless Returns and Holds Pickup Service at OPL

    30/07/2020

    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. 

     

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*NEW* Curbside Returns and Holds Pickup Service 

28/05/2020

For the most recent information about returns and holds pickup service, please see this page.

We are very happy to announce our new Curbside Returns and Holds Pickup service, starting in the next few weeks. This is the first step in a cautious and gradual approach to resuming physical library services. You can learn more about this service below and by visiting our pages on Managing your holds and Holds pickup appointments.

This new curbside service will be offered at six (6) branch locations, during new hours of operations:

  • Main branch

  • Beaverbrook branch 

  • Cumberland branch 

  • Nepean Centrepointe branch 

  • Ruth E. Dickinson branch 

  • Greenboro branch 

**Please note that these branch locations were selected based on these criteria: safety, geography, accessibility, equity, and usage.

The new hours of operation for the six branch locations offering the curbside service are: 

  • Monday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

  • Tuesday: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

  • Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

  • Thursday: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

  • Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

  • Sunday: CLOSED 

For more information about when other branches will open, please see this page

Read on for the details of this new service.  We encourage you to regularly check this page for updates as we respond to the changing situation. 

Starting Monday, June 8: Curbside Returns begins 

You can return your library material at these six (6) branch locations during the new hours of operations. 

  • Main branch 

  • Beaverbrook branch 

  • Cumberland branch 

  • Nepean Centrepointe branch 

  • Ruth E. Dickinson branch 

  • Greenboro branch 

Returns of library items will only be accepted during hours of operations. No appointments are required to drop off library items. 

  • Monday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

  • Tuesday: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

  • Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

  • Thursday: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

  • Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

  • Sunday: CLOSED 

 

Starting Monday, June 15: Curbside pickup of available holds begins by appointment  

Curbside pickup by appointment will begin at the six branch locations staring Monday, June 15. Holds that were available before the closure will be processed first. New holds cannot be placed at this time, as we are working through a backlog of existing holds and incoming returns. 

As this is only the first phase in resuming physical service, there may be delays to our regular service times and wait periods. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

RETURNS: 

Where can I return my library items? 

The six (6) branch locations offering curbside returns and pickup of holds are: 

  • Main branch 

  • Beaverbrook branch 

  • Cumberland branch 

  • Nepean Centrepointe branch 

  • Ruth E. Dickinson branch 

  • Greenboro branch 

Returns will only be accepted during hours of operation beginning June 8. You do not need an appointment to return items. Signage at the six branches will show you where to go to return your Library items, and employees will be there, at a safe distance, to provide additional instructions.  

Will I be charged late fees if I don’t return my items right away? 

Due dates for items already checked out have been extended to September to give you lots of time to return your items. Overdue fees have been suspended for this period. 

I returned my library items. Why are they still showing on my card? 

Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours and then processed. Because of this, items may remain on your card for at least a week after you return them. You will not be charged overdue fees during this period. 

If you still see your returned items listed as checked out in your account after a week, contact Infoservice at 613-580-2940 or InfoService@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.

Can I donate items? 

The Library is not accepting book or material donations at this time. 

 

HOLDS PICKUP: 

How can I prepare for the holds pickup service? What do I do with my holds?

You can log in to your OPL account to unpause your current holds and change the pickup location to one of the six open branches, or to cancel your holds if you no longer want them.

Can I keep a closed branch as the pickup location for my holds?

Yes, you can choose to keep your pickup location at a branch not offering curbside service. Your position in the queue will be maintained and your hold will be filled once your branch reopens. For information about when other branches will open, please see this page

How do I pick up my holds? 

Holds pickup will begin on June 15. Holds that were available for pickup on the shelf before the March closure will be the first available to be picked up. If your hold was available at a branch before the closure, you will be contacted by phone or email with instructions on how to manage your holds. 

Holds pickup will be by appointment only.  

I've already booked an appointment to pick up my holds, but just got an email saying I have more holds available. Do I need to book another appointment?

All your holds available the day before your booked appointment will be ready for you. You do not need to book an additional appointment for each hold notification you receive. 

My holds are ready at a branch not offering curbside service. What will happen to them?

If you have holds ready at a branch that is not offering curbside service, you will be able to pick up these holds when the branch reopens. For information about when other branches will open, please see this page

How do I make an appointment to pick up my holds? 

When your hold is available, you will receive an email or phone call with details on how to book an appointment and the procedure to pick up your hold. If you have holds ready for pickup, you can also book your appointment here. You will be able to pick the date and time slot for your appointment.

I made a pickup appointment, but now want to change it. What can I do? 

You can cancel and rebook your holds appointment ahead of time in the My Event Registrations section of your account. If you want to change your appointment on the day of, you need to call Infoservice at 613-580-2940. 

How long will I have to pick up my holds? 

Holds will be kept for 28 days to give you enough time to book an appointment. 

Can I just go to one of the six branches to pick up my holds if there is no lineup? 

No. Holds pickup is available by appointment only. To ensure a safe environment for our employees and our customers, we can provide this service by appointment only.  

My family has holds on more than one card, and I want to pick up holds for my neighbour who can’t go out. Do I have to make more than one appointment?

When you make your pickup appointment, you will be able to include up to three (3) additional accounts in your appointment booking. Please make sure to include the name and full library card number for each account in your booking and bring the numbers with you to your appointment. All available holds on these accounts will be checked out and bagged for you to pick up at your appointment.

Once I get my pickup appointment scheduled, what do I need to do? 

Please arrive at your branch location on time for your holds pickup appointment. Once you are there, signage will clearly indicate where you need to go to get your holds. Employees will be there to provide additional direction. All your available holds will be bagged and already checked out.  

Ok, I got my available holds at one of the six locations offering curbside pickup. How long can I keep these checked out items?  

The loan period for Library items has been extended to four (4) weeks to give you longer to read and return them. 

How do I manage my current holds? 

You can login to your OPL account to unpause your current holds, to change the pickup location to one of the six open branches, or to cancel your holds. 

When can I start placing holds on new library material? The catalogue won’t let me place new holds right now... 

In order to allow our employees to safely work through the existing backlog of holds and process thousands of returns, new library material cannot be reserved at this time. Starting June 29, customers will be able to reserve new Library items, with a temporary limit of 20 holds per customer.

If I have accessibility concerns, what accommodations can I expect? 

When you schedule your holds pickup appointment, you will be able to identify any accommodations you may require. Employees will review those concerns and work to address them (e.g. provide alternatives to not waiting in an extended line). 

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

How are you ensuring the safety of customers and employees? 

  • The health and safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority. 

  • Returned materials will be quarantined for 72 hours. 

  • Returns and hold pickups will be curbside and contact free.  

  • Visible markers will be present at pickup locations to ensure physical distancing. 

  • Employees will be practicing physical distancing, and they will wear masks if physical distancing is not possible. Regular cleaning and handwashing will be routine. 

  • We recommend washing your hands after handling library materials 

 

If you have further questions, please contact us at 613-580-2940 or InfoService@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca, or write your questions in a comment below. 

 

As this is a new service, we ask you to please be patient as we are processing a large volume of returns and implementing new health and safety measures, requirements around physical distancing, and shorter hours of operations. 

We cannot wait to see you! 

Comments

Thank you for the effort you are putting forward...it means the world to me to have books to read. A number of my reserves are marked "in transit". What will be the procedure regarding them? Is there a start up date for this inter-library sharing?

Thank you for your question. Starting next week, you will be able to change the pickup location of any holds in transit to one of the six open branches. Please do so before June 7 to make sure they do not remain in a closed branch. Appointments to pick up holds will begin on June 15.

Hi,

Hope things are going okay at InfoService. I am sure with the news we are starting to reopen your help will be greatly appreciated by our eager customers.

I was just wondering, if my holds are at a branch that will be open, NC, will I be able to redirect those to a branch that is closer to home, CU, for more convenient pick ups?

Thanks,
Theresa

Thank you for your question, Theresa. If the current pickup location is an open branch (NC), you can still change the location to another open branch (CU). If your holds were available or in transit before the closure in March, you may not be able to change them until next week, but will be able to do so then.

I am in a retirement home with double checking at the main doors and delivered to apartments by in house staff. Is there a date when will this service be re-instated?

Joan Bernard
Thank you -and welcome back!

Hi Joan!

Thank you for your question. At this time, Homebound Services will only be offered at private residences. We do not currently know when we will able to resume deliveries to retirement homes, but we look forward to resuming full service as soon as we can do so safely. We will keep everyone informed!

Good morning. Was wondering if the "Main" location is Metcalfe Street. Thank you.

Hi Sophie,

Yes, you are correct, Main branch is located at 120 Metcalfe Street (corner of Laurier).

What will be the best way to drop off a large number of returned items at Beaverbrook?

Hi there, simply return the items during the hours of operation, starting June 8. Signage will be there to direct you to the service point where returns are accepted and employees will provide further instructions.

The Citizen article on Wednesday mentioned making returns in cardboard boxes. Does this mean that patrons must use them or are they used once a person arrives with their returns? Was a bit unclear.

Hello,
You do not need to bring your own cardboard boxes. There will be boxes at the branch that you can place your returns in.
Thank you.

Just checking that I can return my books to any of the 6 open branches even if they were signed out of another branch.?

Hi!
Absolutely, you can return your books to any of the six branches offering the curbside returns service. Curbside returns will start next Monday, June 8.

I understand that at present this service will only be available to private residences. My question is "Was this service ever available for residents of LTC facilities?" and if so, how do you request it, if it will be available in future? My mother is an avid reader, but has been in LTC since August 2019.

Hello,

Yes, absolutely, this service was available to customers living in individual homes, retirement residences and long term care facilities. The service is resuming for customers in individual homes only, for now, but we look forward to resuming full service as soon as we can do so safely. Here is the webpage for the service: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/homebound-services-0.
You can contact Homebound Services at homebound@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.

Hello,

Yes, absolutely, this service was available to customers living in individual homes, retirement residences and long term care facilities. The service is resuming for customers in individual homes only, for now, but we look forward to resuming full service as soon as we can do so safely. Here is the webpage for the service: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/homebound-services-0.
You can contact Homebound Services at homebound@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.

I don't seem to be able to change the pickup location of my hold that is "in transit" to Carlingwood. Does this mean it will not be available to me until that branch opens (date unknown)

Hi there,
You should be able to go in now and change your pick up location. If you cannot change it, please contact Infoservice at 613-580-2940.

It would help if you could include a graphic with the relevant branches mapped out. Thanks!

Do I need to arrive in a car to return items, or is it possible for me to bus to and from?

Hi there,
You do not need a car to return items or for holds pickup appointments, so you can absolutely take the bus! Items can be returned during operational hours, and staff will be on hand to give directions.

I am unable to change the pickup location for an "ILL in transit" from Richmond Branch to Nepean Centrepointe. I was able to make the change for my OPL holds. Can you make the change for me please? Or let me know when I will be able to do it myself? Thanks!

Hello,
You should now be able to change the pickup location for any items that were in transit. If you cannot change it, please contact Infoservice at 613-580-2940 to get assistance. Thank you.

Appreciate the efforts being made but living just east of downtown I wonder why a branch could not be found in this area e.g. St Laurent or North Gloucester

Bonjour,
Pour faire suite aux nouvelles directives que vous avez annoncées, je ne comprends toujours pas pourquoi, ne pouvons-nous pas retourner nos livres à nos succursales respectives? Quelle est la raison que vous tenez tant à les laisser fermer? Je sais que la décision vient du gouvernement provincial et de la ville d'Ottawa. Je ne vois pas la logique de tout ça, vous pouvez les rouvrir en demandant à vos employés et à votre clientèle de porter le masque et de tenir une distance respectable, tout en suivant les mesures d'hygiène en vigueur et un contrôle à l'entrée. Quand on sait très bien qu'il y a de plus en plus de magasins qui vont rouvrir leurs portes sous peu et qu'il va y avoir plus de monde dans les magasins que dans une bibliothèque...!! Après tout, nous payons tous des taxes pour ce service et ne pouvons pas avoir le plein accès, c'est assez frustrant Merci de lire mon commentaire.

Hi folks, your recent message indicated that people whose library branch is still closed and who have books on hold, can switch to one of the open libraries to schedule a pick up. I went onto my OPL account but could not find how to make that switch. Please tell me the steps to follow to change my pickup location.

Hi there,
If you go to the "Holds" section of your account (in the menu in the top right corner), you should be able to edit the pickup location of your holds. Some holds could not be edited until this week. Holds that were available or in transit at the time of the library closure will appear under "not ready" and any other holds will appear under "paused." You should now be able to change the pickup location of all holds if you wish. If you are still having trouble, please contact Infoservice at 613-580-2940 for assistance.

Do we need to wear masks when we return items to the Main Library?

You mention that you leave returned books in quarantine for 72 hours at the library before processing them. A reasonable precaution. But what protection do people have when they are actually borrowing and taking home books that have been recently handled by library staff ? Advising us to wash our hands after handling library materials may make sense, but it does not really inspire confidence that they are safe to borrow in the first place. Can you clarify this please.

When my preferred location does open again, can I change the hold back to my preferred library or will I still have to go to one of the six?

Hello,
When your preferred location opens again, you will be able to change the pickup location for any unfulfilled holds back to your preferred branch. Thank you.

When I checked my holds list yesterday, I had one book on hold at Alta Vista and another in transit. They both seem to have disappeared from my list.

Hello,
Holds that were available or in transit have been switched to unavailable for now so that you can edit the pickup locations if you wish. The titles should still appear in your holds list, but will now show as "not ready." If you are still having trouble seeing them, please contact Infoservice at 613-580-2940 for assistance. Thank you.

I assume someone will fix this issue and future email blasts will let patrons know that you are doing so, and when the fix has been made.

Hello,
Holds that were in transit have been made temporarily unavailable so that you can edit the pickup locations if you wish. They should still appear in your holds, but are now under the "not ready" section. If you are having trouble seeing them, please contact Infoservice at 613-580-2940. Thank you.

Hello!
How can I get a book that can’t be put on hold?
Thank you!
Lee

Hello Lee,
Currently, only items that are on hold can be picked up. New holds cannot be placed at this time, in order to allow staff to safely work through the existing backlog. We will make sure to let everyone know when new holds can be placed again.
Thank you!

I highly appreciate the effort, but I noticed that many of my items from "for later" list, and even some of my holds (nominally paused) have simply disappeared from the catalogue. While I understand that some culling inevitably takes place, I was surprised that so many have been removed in such short time. Please understand - e-books can never replace traditional ones. While I occasionally read a non-fiction e-book, for the fiction ones many of us have been reduced to re-reading our collections. It is very frustrating to discover a new author to like, look for his or her earlier work, put it on "for later" list, then find the items removed from the catalogue.

Hello,
Thank you for your comment. We have been doing work on the catalogue in order to prepare for our curbside service. We are working to fix an issue with some items not showing in the catalogue at the moment, and they should be back soon.
Thank you

If so, should I give them my card to enable this?

Hello,
Yes, a family member can pick up your holds for you. They will need to go to your scheduled appointment and will need to have your name and card number.
Thank you.

I had a video hold shown as in transit throughout the lock out. On the 31st it changed to Hold position 18 and to 17 on 1 June. Will it return to in transit or do I just wait for the item to come up again. Not a big issue as there are 30 items that will be available once items are returned.

Hello,
All holds that were in transit were made temporarily unavailable so that people could edit locations or pause the items. If it is showing as hold position 18, it is likely that when your hold was in transit in March, there were people ahead of you in line who had paused their hold. Since their hold was paused, the hold skipped to you. If that is still the case, your hold will show as in transit again very soon. If someone ahead of you in line has now unpaused their hold, it might take a little longer for you to get the hold, but it will come up again for you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask or to contact InfoService at 613-580-2940. Thank you.

Dropped off my large number of books at Beaverbrook on Monday afternoon. Everything was very well organized and staff were wearing masks and keeping an appropriate distance. Glad to see several of the staff from Castlefrank there. By the way the cardboard boxes were for patrons with a small number of books to return.

Glad you were able to return your books and see some familiar faces!

Hello!
I am getting the « run-around » and not able to make an appointment to pick up my holds. Please provide a link that will bring me directly to the booking page.

If you have received the holds notification email and you are currently trying to book, please note that we are currently experiencing issues with the booking form, as of 3:25 pm on Wednesday June 9. Please check the link again (you must be logged in to your OPL account) in a few hours. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Trying to make an appointment, but the link is still not working.

Hello,

We were doing some work on the booking system yesterday, but the link should be back up now. Thank you for your patience.