38 Ways to Use the Library from Home
Since many library branches are still closed, and we're all staying home as much as we can, we want to make sure that you're stocked up with things to read, watch, listen to, learn and do. Here's a quick guide to all of the online services you can use with your library card. (And if you don't have a library card, you can now access some of our online collections with a temporary digital card):
Need ideas for songs, games, stories, crafts, activities - and help with schoolwork? We've got you covered.
We've created a collection of songs, stories, activities and games to help your little ones aged 0-5 develop their early literacy skills.
Fun polls, contests, jokes and riddles, and a Wonder Wall of kid-submitted questions and answers for school-aged kids.
A collection of popular storytime songs, performed by library staff so you can sing along at home.
An amazing collection of ebooks and educational videos - including readalong books with audio, books in sign language, and more. Check out the "Cabin Fever Cures" collection for books with fun activities!
And if you don't have a library card, you can still access our OverDrive collection with a temporary digital card!
French-language ebooks for kids of all ages.
Watch fun and educational videos, including Sesame Street, Franklin and Friends, and more.
Select "Kids" at the top of the Hoopla page to browse only kid-friendly music, movies and comics. As of March 20, we have increased your Hoopla credits to 8 plays per library card per month. (You might need to sign out and sign back in again to see the increase!)
Free online tutoring for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Children's stories in over 16 languages, available over the phone. Dial 416-395-5400.
Canada’s biggest, bilingual summer reading program for kids of all ages, interests, and abilities.
Fun, online summer programs for kids aged 6-12.
If you don't have enough books at home, here's an easy way to stock up:
This is the best place to start: a massive collection of ebooks, audiobooks and videos. Includes collections for kids and teens, as well as small collections in Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. Borrow up to 30 items at a time; place up to 30 holds.
- For most readers, the easiest way to use the OverDrive collection is with the Libby ereader app on your phone or tablet. (If you use a screen reader, the OverDrive app works better.)
- Want to read something right away? Browse the "Always Available Audiobooks" and "Best Bets - 7 Day Loan" collections. Or choose a collection to browse, and select the "Available Now" filter.
NEW: If you don't have a library card, you can still access our OverDrive collection with a temporary digital card!
French-language ebooks available from Franco-Ontarian, Québecois and international publishers.
More audiobooks, including some exclusive Canadian content. Borrow up to 15 items at a time; place up to 10 holds.
The latest books and videos from major technology and business publishers. Always available - no holds required.
Self-published ebooks by local and international indie authors.
Online Book Clubs
Discover new books, have fun, connect with your fellow readers.
Movies and Music
If you get tired of reading (as if!), it's always good to have something to watch or listen to as a backup.
Current and popular movies and music. As of March 20, we have increased your Hoopla credits to 8 plays per library card per month. (You might need to sign out and sign back in again to see the increase!)
Stream from a great collection of classic films, world cinema, documentaries and popular movies. You get up to eight plays per month, per library card.
Until July 31st, ProQuest is offering free unlimited access to its collection of streaming theatre videos, including Broadway productions, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre (featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein!) and more.
Stream unlimited concerts, ballets, operas, music documentaries and musical master classes from around the world.
Unlimited streaming of a selection of kids' movies, TV series, exercise and meditation videos, and even favourites from The Great Courses series.
Music spanning medieval to modern in three distinct collections: classical, jazz, and world music. (Note: Naxos can accommodate 100 users at a time. If you're turned away, try again in a little while.)
Newspapers and Magazines
Stay current on the news or find magazines that support your favourite hobby. (Or your celebrity addiction - we won't judge).
Full-page images of current and recent newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries, in over 60 languages. Includes the Toronto Star, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian.
Current news and archived articles from the New York Times.
Current and recent issues of popular magazines including The Economist, The New Yorker, Us Weekly and many more.
Current issues of popular magazines including Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Bloomberg Businessweek, People and more. (Note: some titles have limited availability; if the one you want isn't available, wait a little while and try again.)
Did you know we have digital comics too? All kinds: single-issue comics and original graphic novels.
DC and Marvel superhero comics, Archie comics, Harlequin Romance comics, and many more. Borrow up to 30 at a time; place up to 30 holds.
Always-available comics including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and more. As of March 20, we have increased your Hoopla credits to 8 items per library card per month. (You might need to sign out and sign back in again to see the increase!)
Keep your brain occupied! Feed your interests or take the time to learn a new skill.
Over 3,500 video courses on software development, business, design, photography and more. Certificates of completion available. (Note: Lynda.com can accommodate 150 users at a time. If you're turned away, try again in a little while.)
Video courses and eBooks on technology and business topics. (Note: Safari can accommodate 45 users at a time. If you're turned away, try again in a little while.)
Available at home until July 31. Streaming video in the fields of business, management, social sciences, psychology, nursing and more.
Lectures with slide presentations by leading experts on business, management, and biomedical and life sciences.
Instructor-led, 6-week courses on accounting, college readiness, business, creative writing, American Sign Language, and much more. New session starts July 15th.
Interactive courses in 71 different languages, including English as a Second Language.
Live, one-on-one help with academic and career goals, including high school equivalency preparation, résumé writing, citizenship test prep and more.
Instant access to rare historical photos, maps, books and more.
Audiobook collections of university-level lectures on a huge range of topics, delivered by professors.
Until August 31st, you can use this powerful genealogy tool from home! (It's usually only available in library branches.)
Archive of articles from scholarly journals for arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Need something new to listen to while puttering around the house? These podcasts were created and curated by library staff.
Curated discussions and interviews with some of today's best-known and yet-to-be-known writers, thinkers and artists, recorded on stage at one of Toronto Public Library's 100 branches.
Join library staff for discussions with writers, public figures, library workers and other notable people.
A biweekly series produced and curated by Toronto Public Library, celebrating 40 years of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). Episodes feature recorded on-stage interviews, readings or panel discussions with some of the 20th century's best-known writers and thinkers.
NEW: Want to see your favourite authors, learn something new or connect with other readers? We now have online programs!
From author talks to book clubs to webinars to story times, this is the place to find live and recorded online programs from your library.
Over 500 videos of past onstage interviews with today's leading writers and thinkers.
Need help? Have questions? You can still contact our Answerline service by email, at email@example.com. And remember, while the library is closed, you don't have to return items to us. We won't charge you fines, and any holds that were waiting for you when we closed will still be available for pickup when we reopen.
Edit: Online Book Clubs added, Mar. 19, 2020
Edit: Let's Learn Tech Online removed (temporarily unavailable) Mar. 23, 2020
Edit: Libby and OverDrive app links added Mar. 25, 2020
Edit: Ancestry and JSTOR added Mar. 26, 2020
Edit: Time limit added to Kanopy Kids April 1, 2020
Edit: Answerline email added April 7, 2020
Edit: Kanopy promotion expiry dates updated April 9, 2020
Edit: Ancestry promotion expiry date updated April 9, 2020
Edit: Temporary digital Overdrive card added April 15, 2020
Edit: Online Programs added May 11, 2020
Edit: Streaming Theatre Collection added May 15, 2020
Edit: Ancestry Library Edition home access extended May 19, 2020
Edit: Ancestry Library Edition home access extended, some expired services removed June 23, 2020
Edit: Safari Tech Books name changed to O'Reilly for Public Libraries, June 24, 2020
Edit: Added SAGE videos, July 7, 2020
Edit: Ancestry Library Edition home access extended; Online Programs section revised, July 14, 2020
Edit: Added TD Summer Reading Club, Naxos Jazz and Naxos World Music, July 23, 2020
Edit: Added Summer Wonder, July 27, 2020