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New Email Reminders: Don’t Be Caught Off Guard with an Expired Library Card!

October 6, 2015 | Sandra | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Library cards expire once a year and must be renewed by visiting a branch in person to show identification. We know this can be inconvenient, so we’re introducing a new way to get advance warning when your expiry date is approaching.

If you’re signed up for email notification, you will now receive a reminder message 30 days before your card expires.

Here’s how to make sure you’ll receive your reminder:

  1. Sign in to the Notification Settings section of your account.
  2. Make sure you have selected Email as your preferred notification method.
  3. Make sure your email address is correct.

Notification Settings screen showing email settings

Check our Email Notification FAQ or contact us if you need help with your settings.

For those who prefer telephone notification, we will be introducing expiry reminders by telephone before the end of this year.


About library card expiry

Toronto Public Library cards expire annually so we can:

  • Ensure that your contact information is current
  • Confirm that you are still eligible for a library card
  • Collect payment for any outstanding fines on the account

When your card has expired, you can’t borrow or renew items, place holds, or access ebooks and other digital content.


Place More Holds! Keep Your Checkouts Longer!

September 30, 2015 | Sandra | Comments (25) Facebook Twitter More...

Good news: recent changes to the library’s borrowing policy for physical materials* mean you can now place more holds and keep your checked-out items longer.


More holds

The maximum number of items you can have on hold at one time has been increased from 60 to 100Learn more about placing holds.


More renewals for checked-out items

Most books and CDs can now be renewed three times (up from two) as long as no one else is waiting for the item.

(DVDs, magazines, and "Best Bets" books are still limited to two renewals due to high demand, as are some other specialized materials – see Renewing Materials for more information.)


The library regularly reviews its Circulation and Collection Use Policy with the goals of making materials widely available to the community and maximizing the use of collections. We hope these changes will help make it even easier and more enjoyable to use the library.


*Note: these policies apply to physical materials. Ebooks and other digital materials have different limits, depending on the service.

Unfortunately digital content titles cannot be renewed, but you can check them out again if they are available when the checkout period ends.

Participants needed for account usability testing next week

September 17, 2015 | Dara Renton | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

As you may know, the library is working on a redesign of the account section of the TPL website.

Part of this process involves getting users in front of prototypes of the design to test usability and see if our ideas are working. This will allow us to improve and iterate on the work we are doing.

We are ready to do a round of testing and we need test participants! For this round of testing we are looking for participants who:

  • Currently use the TPL site to manage their library account.
  • Currently have more than 10 items on either their checkout or holds list.
  • Are willing to log in to their TPL account during their session and talk about how they use it.
  • Are available on Wednesday September 23rd or Thursday September 24th for an hour between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at North York Central Library.

If this sounds like you and you are interested in getting involved, please complete the recruiting survey.

The first ten people who match the participant type we are looking for this time who complete the survey will be contacted with further information and to schedule the usability consultation.

We look forward to meeting you!

Bring Zinio eMagazines With You On Vacation

July 31, 2015 | Kelli | Comments (7) Facebook Twitter More...

Whether your vacation is spent relaxing at a cottage or a flying away to explore a new city, magazines are great to have along. If you will have your tablet or laptop with you, don't forget to stock up on free eMagazines before you leave. 

Our Zinio eMagazines are free to borrow and download and do not need to returned after a specific period of time. You can keep them for as long as you want. No fines!

If you are new to our Zinio eMagazines collection, please have a look at the Getting Started with Zinio eMagazines for instructions on using this service.

Want to know what is available? Here are a few of the more than 600 magazines that are in the collection:

Canadian Gardening Canadian Living Conde nast Economist Elle Canada
Esquire Food network GQ Harper's Bazaar Hello
Hgtv Lonely planet National Geographic Newsweek Oprah
Reader's Digest Rolling Stone Us Vanity Fair Vogue

We also have magazines in Chinese, French (Quebec and France), Italian, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Spanish (Spain and Mexico) and Vietnamese as well as English language magazines from India and the Philippines.

Chinese - Reader's Digest French - Elle Quebec Italy - Gente Portuguese  - Elle Portugal Brazil - Scientific American
Spanish - Hola Spain Spanish - Caras Mexico Dep - Vietnam India Today - India Philippines - Yes!

Related Posts:

A Mobile-Friendly Sign-in Page

June 25, 2015 | Sandra | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

Starting today, when you sign in to your account on the library website, you may notice that the Sign In page looks a bit different. We have redesigned the page to make it easier to use on mobile devices.

One feature not included in this update is the option to stay signed in (the "keep me signed in" checkbox option you see on many other sites). We know many library users want this option, and we plan to add it as part of a future update once we have made some necessary back-end changes.

If you want the website to remember your library card number and PIN, you can use the built-in username/password management functionality in most web browsers to save your information. Here's how:

We plan to redesign more pages in the coming months to improve the website experience for mobile device users, so stay tuned.

Streaming Audiobooks Now Available

June 25, 2015 | Kelli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Toronto Public Library has two collections of electronic audiobooks (eAudiobooks): OverDrive and OneClickdigital. For many years, these eAudiobooks have been available to download and play on personal computers, mp3 players, iPods, smartphones and tablets. Now these eAudiobooks can be streamed on computers and mobile devices as well.  

Streaming audiobooks are played in an Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc.). OverDrive or OneClickdigital software are not needed. However, as the audiobooks have not been downloaded to the computer or device, streaming does require a constant Internet connection.

OverDrive: OverDrive ListenThe streaming feature in OverDrive is called OverDrive Listen. Using the OverDrive Listen formateAudiobooks can now be borrowed and played right in the browser of a library or home computer or mobile device.

After checking out an audiobook, click on the Listen button instead of the Download button. Then click on the Play button. At this time, not all eAudiobooks are available in this new format.

OverDrive Listen player

OneClickdigital: Streaming is available on all eAudiobooks in the OneClickdigital Collection. After clicking on the "Checkout Now!" button, click the play button located below the book cover. Another option is to click on the Chapters tab and click on the first chapter.

Outlander streaming

For customers using mobile devices, using cellular data for streaming or downloading is not recommended as multimedia content can consume a lot of bandwidth. All 100 branches of the Toronto Public Library offer free Wi-Fi.

User Guides are available to download for both these collections. For OverDrive, there is a general Getting Started with Audiobooks guide for those who want to download to their computers and transfer to an mp3 player or an iPod. For mobile device users, there are guides for using OverDrive on Apple and Android devices. There is also a new guide for using the OneClickdigital eAudiobook collection.

Hoopla Digital Music and Video: Important Information About Your Library Card

June 18, 2015 | Dara Renton | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Effective July 3, 2015, expired and blocked library cards will be prevented from checking out materials on Hoopla. To continue using Hoopla, please make sure your library card is valid and in good standing.

If you try to borrow an item with a card that is blocked or expired, you will get a message telling you to contact your library. Here's what you need to do:

Sign into your account on the Toronto Public Library website.

  • If your card is blocked due to outstanding fines, return any overdue items and pay the fines online or at your nearest library branch.
  • If your card has expired, bring identification to your nearest library branch to renew your card. (If you’re not able to visit a branch right away, we can temporarily extend your card’s expiry date – contact us for help.)
  • If you have replaced your card since you first registered for Hoopla, you may need to update your card number in Hoopla. To do this, sign into Hoopla and select your email address in the top right corner. Enter your new card number in the field where your old number displays. Select Update to save your changes.  

Hoopla new card

If none of the above situations applies to you, there’s nothing you need to do – keep enjoying Hoopla and other library services!

Featured Titles and Collections - Find Your Next Book

May 27, 2015 | Kelli | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Hellgoing Featured TitleIf you are a regular OverDrive user, you may have noticed the new Featured Title on the main OverDrive homepage. The Featured Title is selected from the many excellent and formerly popular eBooks that are in the collection, which now have copies available. Check our OverDrive website frequently to find those books you meant to read. 

Another great place to find your next book are the wonderful set of Featured Collections that are on the OverDrive website. Even if you are not an eBook user, have a look through these lists. You can always place a hold on the print copy instead. 

Want even more suggestions for something to read? Check out our We RecommendAward Winners, and Bestsellers lists.  

Here are a few of the Featured Collections available on our OverDrivewebsite:

Margaret Cannon's Crime Fiction Picks

Margaret Cannon's recommendations for new mysteries are a must for any mystery lover. They are published every few weeks in the Saturday Globe and Mail.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust Cobra Dreaming Spies Fifth Heart I am pilgrim

Hot Releases of 2015

At the water's edge Dead wake The Escape Mountain story Trigger warning

TPL Staff Picks

Boy in the moon Mary coin My real children Songs of willow frost Tower zoo tortoise

Top Books of 2014

Adult onset Innovators Invention of wings Martian Pearl that broke its shell

The Toronto Poetry Map - A New Pattern for Our Digital Projects

April 9, 2015 | Alan H. | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

We launched the Toronto Poetry Map at the start of April to mark National Poetry Month, and I've been  pleased by both the media interest and the social media traffic. I had a strong personal interest in this project as a reader of Canadian poetry, so it was a particular pleasure to serve as the technical lead - I don't normally get to combine my academic background in literature with my career as a librarian and software developer.

The poetry map originated in a collaboration between the library and the city's fourth Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke. I think it provides a unique way to explore Toronto through poems associated with the city’s neighbourhoods, intersections and landmarks.

The map in a technical sense represents a very new way of working for us - it's our first released project using Ruby on Rails, a web development framework that will no doubt be familiar to some of our more technically-oriented readers. Rails let us turn around a great experience in record time and promoted an iterative, collaborative working style that I favour for web application development.

It's also:

  • our first released application built from the beginning for mobile layout
  • our first cloud-deployed application (on DigitalOcean if you're curious)

At heart, the decision to use a new approach was made due to content requirements and a need to be able to easily add new poems and features in the future. The poetry map data model is surprisingly complex and multi-dimensional - a location can have multiple poems associated with it, or a poem can mention multiple locations, and we needed to be able to model those relationships in the underlying data in order to deliver the desired experience.

Longer term, I'm hoping to reuse some of the approaches and technologies to rapidly build similar applications - maybe even open source the code so others can build their own maps for their own places.

Zinio eMagazines Now Easier to Use

March 10, 2015 | Joanne | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

  • Only one Zinio library account is now needed to checkout, read and manage your magazines on a computer. You won't have to create or sign into a second Zinio account to read a magazine
  • The current issue of a magazine can be checked out right away by using the new Checkout Now icon found on the bottom right of the magazine cover

Checkout now

  • You can start reading the magazine instantly in your browser

Start Reading

Read Now


  • You can change your display preferences or delete issues within your account by selecting My Collection after signing in at Zinio eMagazines

Manage Checked Out Magazines


New Zinio for Libraries app for iPad and Android users (4.0.3 and up)

  • There is a new Zinio for Libraries app available for iPad and Android . The new app is intended for users who only borrow magazines from the library as it does not include an option to purchase magazines. It does not replace the original Zinio app; if you have a paid account you can continue to use the original Zinio app to manage the magazines you have bought as well as those checked out from the library
  • If you download the new Zinio for Libraries app it may take a week or so for your older checked out magazines to appear. If you want to read those issues, you can continue to use the original Zinio app
  • When you want a new magazine you must always start at Zinio eMagazines; the app is for reading only.
  • Note: The New Zinio for Libraries app for iPhone is scheduled for release at the end of April

Have fun reading your favorite magazines!


Vanity Fair magazine cover Business Today (Chinese) magazine cover Canadian Living magazine cover Wired magazine cover
The Economist magazine cover Hello cover Car and Driver magazine cover M55BM61B US Weekly magazine coverJ55EKYHW