UPDATE: Additional Services at OPL Branches – Starting Feb. 22


Starting Monday, February 22:

  • 25 of our 28 open branches will offer returns and holds pick up inside the branches, as well as browsing, and use of public computers.
  • Rosemount, Orléans, and Metcalfe branches will offer contactless returns and holds pick up inside the branches.
  • The Bookmobile will offer browsing of a small collection at all stops.
  • Hours of operation will remain the same.
  • Mask wearing inside the branches, and outside in line, remain mandatory.

For more details, go to the OPL blog.

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Pandemic Parenting

mother adjusting a face mask on her daughter.

Children of all ages and their parents are feeling the social effects of COVID-19. Some families may be feeling isolated, bored and uncertain about the future. Children might feel afraid or sad about how their world has changed so quickly.  Parenting can be difficult at the best of times but now it seems to be an ever-changing challenge.  Here are some resources put together by Ottawa Public Library staff to help parents and caregivers support the young people in their lives.

Ottawa Public Health: Resources for those pregnant and parenting during COVID-19 

Ottawa Public Health provides local information on dealing with the challenges of being apart from family and friends. This site has helpful, practical tips on explaining the virus, physical distancing and hand washing to children. There is an excellent FAQ page that covers the questions that come up day to day with all ages about COVID-19. 

Government of Ontario: COVID-19 support for students and parents

The Government of Ontario brings you practical information about school closures, childcare and how to learn at home during COVID-19. Some health care and frontline workers can send their children to emergency childcare while they are at work. Find out if you are eligible to send your child to emergency childcare.

Government of Canada: COVID-19 resources for parents and children

Children, just like adults, have an important role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. It can be difficult for some to understand why they must stay home or cannot see loved ones and friends. The Government of Canada brings you these resources to help your child understand what’s going on and how they can help. Ideas and tips to help parents and caregivers adjust to this new and unexpected situation.

WHO: #HealthyAtHome Campaign 

Working with international partners, the WHO brings you content to open the world of isolation.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is an international organization with members from more than 150 countries, that come together to promote equal access to health for everyone.  This website offers ideas and resources to support parents and projects that will engage children in understanding coronavirus, the challenges it brings to their world and what can be done to protect them. 


UNICEF is a United Nations organization, that works with partners around the world to promote policies and expand access to services that protect all children. This website has the latest COVID-19 news and resources, as well as practical information, such as the importance of maintaining regular vaccination schedules during this time.

Canadian Paediatric Society

The Canadian Pediatric Society is a national organization of pediatricians working together to advance the health of Canadian children and youth. This site has articles on COVID and how it is affecting other medical conditions such as diabetes, ADHD and anxiety disorders. There are practical articles about topics such as the safe use of hand sanitizer by children. 

Canadian Psychological Association

Are you finding working from home a challenge? Here are practical tips on making working from home with children a bit easier from the Canadian Psychological Society. The CPS is the largest national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada.  

Canadian Red Cross

Feeling stressed by working at home, while looking after children? The Canadian Red Cross provides self-care tips for parents working at home with solutions to the challenges of an abrupt workplace change. Tips for helping families cope during self-isolation, including links to activities for children. 

Break the Fake from MediaSmarts

In today’s digital world, critical thinking is more important than ever. Here you’ll find a variety of resources to help you figure out what’s real and what’s fake online. Media Smarts is an Ottawa based non-profit who promote critical thinking and analysis of various types of mass media. You can also play with your favourite house hippos! 

Kids Help Phone

Get the facts on the novel coronavirus with Kids Help Phone, a 24/7 national support service. This national volunteer led organization offers phone, text and live chat counselling services to young people in both English and French. There is information about how to support the young people in your life and information for kids on how to cope with social distancing or concerns about school.  

Resource List

Handling Family Stress - the e-book editionby SandraH_Library

Those of us with families at home are facing a unique set of challenges. Not only do we have to manage our own stress, but we have others to help. These books are geared to different age groups, and can help family members help each other.

  • Image: Happy


    By Edwards, Nicola
    "A perfect bedtime read, this picture book gently encourages children to explore the senses and discover their path to mindfulness. "Mindfulness is all about connetion with ourselves and the world around us." This poetically-written introduction to mindfulness touches upon the most important aspects of life—feeling, discovering, smelling, listening, and all the things that bring the world to life. With every soothing read and practice, children are better equipped to understand and control their own emotions...and diiscover an appreciation for the beautiful world around them."
  • Image: Keep Calm!

    Keep Calm!

    My Stress-busting Tips
    By Bellisario, Gina
    "Anna is one busy girl! She plays soccer and takes piano lessons. She has homework and chores. Sometimes she feels stressed. How can she get everything done? Anna's parents show her several ways to deal with stress. When she tries them, she shrinks her stress and feels better!"
  • Image: Mindful Games

    Mindful Games

    Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation With Children, Teens, and Families
    By Greenland, Susan Kaiser
    "Mindful play is a great way for kids to develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion. Here are fifty simple and accessible games that can bring mindfulness to your daily routine. These delightful games, developed and tested over many years of working with children and their caregivers, are designed for kids, but they can be just as fun and transformative for adults!"
  • Image: Mindful Movements
    "Thich Nhat Hanh teaches "meditations in motion" which is a series of gentle exercises created specifically to cultivate a joyful awareness of the body and breath."
  • Image: 10 Mindful Minutes

    10 Mindful Minutes

    Giving Our Children the Social and Emotional Skills to Lead Smarter, Healthier, and Happier Lives
    By Hawn, Goldie
    "Across the country, the revolutionary MindUP program, developed under the auspices of the Hawn Foundation, established by Goldie Hawn, is teaching children vital social and emotional skills. By understanding how their brains work, children discover where their emotions come from and become more self-aware. They learn to appreciate the sensory aspects of their lives and to value the positive effects of mindfulness, compassion, and kindness. This, in turn, empowers them to manage and reduce their own stress--and helps them be happy. Those who have seen the effects of this program have been eager to learn how to implement it in their own homes and use its practices for themselves, too. Here, for the first time, its secrets are being shared with all parents and children."
  • Image: The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

    The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

    How to Let Go of Excessive Stress, Anxiety and Worry, and Raise Happy, Healthy, Resilient Families
    By Ortner, Nick
    "Through the use of easy-to-follow diagrams, links to step-by-step videos and dozens of Tapping tips, The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers offers an easy-to-use resource to help solve many of the emotional and social challenges that families deal with on a daily basis."
  • Image: Growing up Mindful

    Growing up Mindful

    Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience
    By Willard, Christopher
    "A guide to introducing mindfulness into the lives of children and teenagers. Growing Up Mindful helps parents, educators, and counselors learn how to embody and share the skills of mindfulness that will empower our children with resilience throughout their lives. Includes more than 75 accessible exercises and practices."
  • Image: Freeing your Child From Anxiety

    Freeing your Child From Anxiety

    Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for for Life--from Toddlers to Teens
    By Chansky, Tamar E.
    "Childhood should be a happy, carefree time. Yet too many children are stressed-out and exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. In Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, childhood anxiety expert Dr. Tamar Chansky shares a proven approach for helping children build emotional resilience for a happier and healthier life. Parents everywhere want to know: What is normal? How can you know when stress has crossed over into a full-blown anxiety disorder? How can you prevent anxiety from taking root? And how do you help your son or daughter break free from a pattern of fear and worry and lead a happy, productive life? Fortunately, anxiety is very treatable, and parents can do a lot to help get their children's emotional well-being back on track. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety contains easy, fun, and effective tools for teaching children to outsmart their worries and take charge of their fears."
  • Image: Teach your Child Meditation

    Teach your Child Meditation

    70 Fun & Easy Ways to Help Kids De-stress and Chill Out
    By Roberts, Lisa
    "This fun, hands-on guide is designed to build skills through meditation and breathing exercises that can help kids reduce stress, calm down, relax, and more."
  • Image: Be Mindful and Stress Less

    Be Mindful and Stress Less

    50 Ways to Deal With your (crazy) Life
    By Biegel, Gina
    "Simple mindfulness practices for teens that build self-esteem, grow compassion, and reduce stress. The demands and pressures of everyday life can really stress you out! School, work, relationships, social media, and the like can leave you pulled in so many directions it can make your head spin. When you need help fast, these simple accessible mindfulness-based practices will help bring you relief and ease right away. If you make these mindfulness and self-care practices part of your routine, you'll discover little life-hacks to get through even the toughest days."