Pick Up and Return Your Library Materials
You can continue to place holds online through our website and pick up your holds at most of our library branches. Most branches have drop boxes that are open 24/7 to accept the return of your library materials. Library branches that are open have regular operational hours but there is no Sunday service.
Due to provincial restrictions, effective April 8, TPL branches will remain open only for contactless holds pick-up and drop-off of materials at the entrance. All other in-branch services will be unavailable.
This page has information about the pick-up of holds and grab & go bags, and return of library materials and will be updated regularly as new details about the service are available. Learn more about COVID-19 impacts to the Toronto Public Library.
- How does pick-up of holds work?
- Can I pick up holds for my family or friends? Can someone else pick up my hold(s) for me?
- How long can I borrow materials for? Will I be charged late fees?
- Can I bring my own bag to pick up my holds?
- Are grab & go bags available and how can I get one?
- When I go to pick up my holds, can I read/study/hang out in the library?
- Why aren't all branches open for pick-up service? What are the alternate pick-up locations?
- When and where can I return my library materials?
- What can I return?
- When I return materials in a drop box, how long will it take before my account is updated?
- Will I be charged late fees if I don't return my books right now?
- Can I drop off book donations?
1. How does pick-up of holds work?
Place holds on materials online and over the phone and pick them up at open library branches. Appointments are not required. Library branches that are open have regular operational hours but there is no Sunday service. You have 14 days to pick up your hold(s) once they are available. When you arrive to pick up your holds, you will need to wait in line outside the branch. A staff member will assist you once it's your turn. One customer will be served at a time.
The expiry date will display in the Holds section of your online account as soon as the item becomes available. It will also be indicated in your phone call or email notice which you will receive the day after the hold becomes available. Learn more about placing holds on the library's website.
3. How long can I borrow materials for? Will I be charged late fees?
The loan periods for library items remain the same. We're encouraging everybody to return items promptly to reduce the wait time for others. However, at this time, if you are unable to return your items to our drop boxes by the due date, you will not be charged fines
5. Are grab & go bags available and how can I get one?
Yes. Grab & go bags are available for contactless holds pick-up. Learn more about grab & go bags.
6. When I go to pick up my holds, can I read/study/hang out in the library?
No. Due to provincial restrictions, effective April 8, TPL branches will remain open only for contactless holds pick-up and drop-off of materials at the entrance. All other in-branch services and spaces will be unavailable.
7. Why aren't all branches open for pick-up service? What are the alternate pick-up locations?
We’re working within the COVID-19 response framework provided by the Province of Ontario and under the guidance of public health experts. When deciding when to reopen a branch, we consider a number of safety factors, including branch space, capacity limitations and staffing requirements. Our priority is to open our larger, busier branches and to make sure that we have libraries open in different parts of the city.
Alternate Pick-up Locations
Black Creek | Alternate location: Downsview
Burrows Hall | Alternate location: Malvern
City Hall | Alternate location: Lillian H. Smith
Davenport | Alternate location: Dufferin/St. Clair
Fort York | Alternate location: Lillian H. Smith
Humber Bay | Alternate location: Brentwood
Mount Pleasant | Alternate location: Leaside
Perth Dupont | Alternate location: Bloor/Gladstone
Port Union | Alternate location: Morningside
Queen Saulter | Alternate location: Riverdale
Spadina Road | Alternate location: Palmerston
St. James Town | Alternate location: Parliament Street
Sunnybrook | Holds will remain at Sunnybrook and won’t be available for pick-up until the branch re-opens.
Swansea Memorial | Alternate location: Runnymede
Todmorden Room | Alternate location: Danforth/Coxwell
Woodside Square | Alternate location: Goldhawk Park
Wychwood | Alternate location: Deer Park
York Woods Pop-up | Alternate location: Jane/Sheppard
1. When and where can I return my library materials?
Most of our branches have drop boxes that are open to accept the return of your library materials. To find out if your branch’s drop box is open, visit our branches page.
2. What can I return?
You can return library books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks in our branch drop boxes. Please practice physical distancing (keep 2 metres apart) if there is a lineup when you arrive.
Drop boxes are open 24/7 and are cleared by staff regularly. However, with so many items being returned, a drop box may be full when you come to return your item(s). Please do not attempt to put items into the drop box slot if the drop box is full, and do not leave items outside on the sidewalk. You can continue to hold on to your borrowed items until branches fully reopen. You will not be charged fines during this period.
If you have fragile or large materials out on loan, such as musical instruments, Arduino kits, or any other materials that may be damaged by dropping them into one of our drop boxes, please continue to hold onto these items for now. You will not be charged overdue fines during this period.
3. When I return materials in a dropbox, how long will it take before my account is updated?
When items are returned, they are first quarantined and then checked back into our system. So items will remain on your account for at least 6-8 days before we are able to process your return. During this time, you may receive an overdue notice but you can disregard the message if you've returned your items. No fines will be incurred during this period. We appreciate your patience.
4. Will I be charged late fees if I don't return my books right now?
You can continue to hold on to your borrowed items until branches fully reopen. You will not be charged fines during this period.
5. Can I drop off book donations?
At this time, we are not accepting book donations or any other items. Please only return borrowed TPL items. With limited branch space to quarantine circulating materials we must recycle donated items.
Please check our website for updates about the reopening of the Book Ends Used Bookstores and details about when we will resume accepting donations. Learn more about other ways to donate to the library through the Toronto Public Library Foundation.
Ensuring the Safety of Customers and Staff
Find out everything we’re doing to ensure the health and safety of our customers and our staff.
What if I have questions that are not answered here?
Please contact us using our online form.
Last updated: March 10 to include service updates within Grey-Lockdown; April 8 to include service updates within the Provincial emergency and stay-at-home order; April 16 to update the list of alternate pick-up locations.