Toronto Public Library Service Update: COVID-19 Impacts

As of Friday, March 13, all Toronto Public Library branches are closed to support efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All programs, room rentals and mobile library service (Bookmobile and Home Library Service) are cancelled.

We are taking several steps to support you as much as possible during this temporary closure. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we’ve received. Please check back here for updates and more information.

Are there any library services I can use from home?
All of our online services are still available and can be accessed from anywhere using your library card. We’ve put together a quick guide to our digital resources, including ebooks, eaudiobooks, movies and music.

How can I return the items I have checked out?
Don’t return your books or other borrowed items during the closure. Please hold on to them until we reopen. Book drops are closed. You will not be charged fines during this period.

What if my items are due? Will I be charged late fees?
If you have books and other materials checked out right now, please hold on to them. You will not be charged any fines during this time. The due dates for all checked-out items will be extended until after we reopen.

Will my fines keep increasing while branches are closed?
Any outstanding library fines will not increase while branches are closed. However, any fines that were owing on your account before March 14 will remain.

What if my holds are ready for pickup?
If you have holds, they will be waiting for you when our branches reopen. You will not be charged any fines for not picking them up. You will have two weeks to pick up your holds once we reopen.

How long will I have to return items when you reopen?
You will have two weeks to return your items once we reopen.

Can I renew my items online?
You do not need to renew your items during the closure and you will not be charged any fines on those items. However, if you would like to renew your materials online in your account or by phone using the telephone renewals line at 416-395-5505, you can as long as the items don’t have holds on them and haven’t already been renewed the maximum number of times.

Why am I not receiving notifications about due dates, holds, and overdue items?
We have temporarily suspended our email and telephone notifications while library branches are closed. You will not be charged fines for any overdue items during the closure. Any holds you have will be kept for you until library branches reopen. The due dates for all checked-out items will be extended until after we reopen.

My library card is about to expire or has expired. How can I renew?
All expiring and expired library cards between January 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 have been extended until June 1 so that library customers can continue to enjoy uninterrupted access to all digital resources.

Adults and teens can renew cards online beginning 30 days before the expiry date. You must be eligible and all outstanding charges must be paid before your card can be renewed online.

Can I apply for a library card?
No. Unfortunately, you will not be able to apply for a library card while branches are closed.

Can I place new holds on items?
Yes, you can continue to place holds online. Holds requests will be processed when branches reopen.

I borrowed a Museum + Arts Pass (MAP) and it is still valid until the end of April. Will there be an extension?
We will discuss this option with our venue partners when we reopen.

How does the Library's closure affect my room booking?
Please visit our Venue and Community Space Rentals page for information.

If you have any questions about your account or how to access our digital resources, please contact us by email at answerline@tpl.ca. The email account is being monitored, but limited services and long wait times apply. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

COVID-19 Resources

We encourage you to stay informed about COVID-19 by referring to credible sources of information, such as the City of Toronto's COVID-19 website.

Last updated: Monday, March 30, 2020