Toronto Public Library Launches Instant Digital Card for Torontonians without Library Cards

April 16, 2020 | Media Relations

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New digital card provides access to TPL’s extensive eBook and eAudiobook Overdrive collection

Toronto Public Library (TPL) is pleased to announce the launch of an Instant Digital Card, which gives Torontonians who do not already have a library card, free, temporary access to OverDrive, TPL’s largest collection of ebooks and eaudiobooks. The Instant Digital Card is available to anyone 13 years old and older who has a cell phone with a Toronto area code (416, 647, 437) that can receive text messages. Residents can learn more and quickly register for an Instant Digital Card at

“While all Toronto Public Library branches are closed to support efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the use of our digital collections,” says City Librarian Vickery Bowles. “We’ve also heard from many residents who would like to borrow ebooks and eaudiobooks, but can’t because they don’t have a library card, and can’t come into our branches to get one. So we’re thrilled to be able to offer them a digital card that extends access to our largest collection of ebooks and eaudiobooks.”

The Library has shifted the spending of its collection budget to purchase more digital materials, given increased demand from library customers. “Use of our OverDrive collection is up 34% from before the closure,” says Susan Caron, Director of Collections and Membership Services. “So many people are using our OverDrive collection to stay engaged and entertained during this stressful time. The Library is pleased to provide easy, instant access to an outstanding ebook and eaudiobook collection that has something for every reading taste.”

All Instant Digital Cards will expire on September 1, 2020, after which users will be encouraged to register for a free, full-service, permanent Toronto Public Library card. The Library is currently working to implement online registration for a permanent TPL card, which will allow access to all TPL digital resources.

About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system, with more than 46 million annual visits to our branches and online. We empower Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and knowledge economy through easy access to technology, lifelong learning, and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, where when and how our customers need us. To learn more, visit, email Answerline at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to email updates.


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Toronto Public Library
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