Pick Up and Return Your Library Materials

You can place holds online through our website and schedule a pick-up time at one of our 70 library branches. Most branches have drop boxes that are open 24/7 to accept the return of your library materials. 

This page has information about this new service and will be updated regularly as new details about the service are available.

Scheduling the Pick-up of Library Materials

Returning Your Library Materials

Ensuring the Safety of Customers and Staff


Scheduling the Pick Up of Library Materials

1. How does pick-up of holds work?
Scheduled pick-up of holds is now being offered at 70 branches where this service can be safely provided.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You can place holds online through our website at tpl.ca and choose one of the 70 library branches for pick-up.

  2. You may choose to be notified by email or phone when your holds become available.

  3. Once you receive your email or phone notification that your holds are ready for pick-up, you can book a pick-up time online for the branch your holds are at or you can call us. Please note:

    • The booking site it not compatible with Internet Explorer.

    • You cannot schedule a same day pick-up time.

    • You have three weeks (21 days) to pick up your hold(s).

    • All holds that arrive one day prior to your scheduled pick-up time will be ready for pick-up; you don’t need to schedule more than one pick-up time.

    • Your holds will be checked out on your account one day prior to your scheduled pick-up time so they are ready for your arrival the next day.

    • If you are unable to make your scheduled pick-up time, you need to cancel or reschedule your pick-up time within 24 hours or your holds will be cleared.

  4. Please have your library card with you to pick up your materials. Library staff will bring your materials to a table for you to pick up. You do not need a car to use the service. For your safety and the safety of others, please maintain physical distancing protocols and follow any instructions provided to you by library staff when you arrive at the branch. Note: Most branches will provide the holds pick-up service outside the branch and some will offer the service inside the branch.

2. What are the hours of operation for pick-up service?
The hours of operation for pick-up service will vary by branch. Check the service message at the top of each branch listing to see when the branch will be open for pick-up.

3. How long will it take to get my holds?
This depends on the availability of the item(s) and/or the number of people ahead of you on the waiting list. As this is a new service, it may take longer than usual for you to get your hold(s). We appreciate your patience.

4. I have holds ready for pick-up and I don’t want to use this service. Will my holds still be there when the library reopens?
Your holds will be held until the pick-up by date indicated in your online account and holds notification. You can contact us if you wish to suspend your hold to a later time. You will not be charged any fines for not picking them up.

5. I no longer want my hold(s). What can I do?
If you no longer want to pick up your hold(s), you can cancel it in your online account. If you have already scheduled a pick-up time, you need to contact us to cancel.

6. Can I pick up holds for my family or friends? Can someone else pick up my hold(s) for me?
Yes. If you are picking up holds on behalf of other people, you will need to provide their full library card number(s) when you schedule your pick-up time. Please note that all holds must be ready to be picked up and at the same branch.

7. Can I get a library card or renew my library card as part of the pick-up service?
No. Unfortunately, we are not able to register new customers or renew library cards during the pick-up service. 

8. How long can I borrow materials for? Will I be charged late fees?
The loan periods for library items remain the same and we’re encouraging everybody to return their items on time to reduce the wait time for others. However, if you are unable to return your items to our drop boxes on time, you will not be charged late fees.

9. Why aren't all branches open for pick-up service? What are the alternate pick-up locations?
Not all TPL branches are suitable for our new holds pick-up service. When choosing which locations to offer the service, we had to consider many factors:

  • Our ability to safely set up curbside pick-up service. This includes making sure that we are following the guidelines provided by the Province of Ontario to safely offer curbside service (e.g. providing direct access to the street or exterior sidewalk).
  • The size of branch and availability of space to store returned materials in quarantine.
  • Equitable and accessible access to services, including the geographic distribution of the service across the city.

Alternate Pick-up Locations

Albert Campbell


Armour Heights


Black Creek


Burrows Hall

City Hall


Eglinton Square

Flemingdon Park


Goldhawk Park

Humber Bay



Mount Pleasant

Perth Dupont

Port Union

Queen Saulter



St. Clair/Silverthorn

St. James Town


  • Holds will remain at Sunnybrook and won’t be available for pick-up until the branch re-opens.





York Woods


10. Can I bring my own bag to pick up my holds?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to bring and use your own bags at this time. Due to the demand for this service, library staff prepare your holds in advance and have them ready for your scheduled pick-up time. We are looking at using different sizes of bags for smaller items and will continue to evaluate our processes.

Returning Your Library Materials


Branch bookdrop image


1. When and where can I return my library materials?
Seventy-three (73) 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 tpl.ca/branches. The service message at the top of each branch listing indicates whether or not the drop box at that branch is open. 

2. What can I return?
For now, please return only library books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks. If you have anything else from the library, please hold on to it until our branches reopen. Please do not return fragile or large materials you may have 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.

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. 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. Please practice physical distancing (keep 2 metres apart) if there is a lineup when you arrive.

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 5-7 days before we are able to process your return. We appreciate your patience and no fines will be incurred during this period.

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 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
With the introduction of in-branch services, the health and safety of our staff and our customers continues to be our top priority.

The reinstatement of our services follows the reopening framework provided by the Province of Ontario, and the advice of the Toronto Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, and follows best practices within library and retail industries. Toronto Public Health has reviewed and endorsed our plans.

Here are some of the measures we have put in place:

  • All staff have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

  • Intensive cleaning of branches has been done in advance, including cleaning of upholstery and special disinfecting of high touch surfaces.

  • Regular cleaning and hand washing protocols are in place.

  • Pick-up locations have proper physical distancing protocols in place.

  • Computer workstations are two metres apart to ensure physical distancing measures. Workstations will be sanitized between bookings.

  • Returned materials are quarantined for 72 hours or more until they are safe to circulate to meet or exceed the requirements put in place by Toronto Public Health.

  • Plexi-glass will be in place in certain locations where physical distancing protocols cannot be maintained.


If you are interested in using our in-person services, here are additional steps to take:

  • Take the COVID-19 self-assessment test. If you have symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay at home and do not visit the library.

  • Wearing a mask or face covering is required in indoor public spaces beginning July 7, 2020, as per the City of Toronto's Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw. All customers and visitors entering the library are required to wear a mask or face covering while inside. Learn more about the library's policy on Mandatory Use of Mask or Face Covering within Toronto Public Library Branches.

  • Keep a distance of 6 feet from others when picking up or returning items.

  • Wash or sanitize your hands often, before and after touching materials.

  • Have one person pick up your holds.


And don’t forget, you can download ebooks, stream movies, take a course, attend a live program and more online. More information about our online services.



What if I have questions that are not answered here?
Please contact us using our online form.



Last updated: May 25 to include information about late fees; June 1 to include information about additional drop boxes; June 3 to include more information about how to prepare for curbside pick-up; June 4 to include additional information about safety measures and curbside pick-up service; June 8 to include information about branch selection for curbside service and compatible Internet browsers; June 15 to note 68 branches and 71 branches are available for curbside pick-up service and drop-off service, respectively; June 18 to include information about pick-up bags; June 22 to update information about curbside pick-up of holds; June 27 to note 69 branches and 72 branches are available for pick-up service and drop-off service, respectively; June 30 to remove the mention of "curbside" and reorder information; July 6 to note 70 branches and 73 branches are available for pick-up service and drop-off service, respectively, and to include information about the City of Toronto's Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw; June 7 to include link to TPL's policy on Mandatory Use of Mask or Face Covering within Toronto Public Library Branches.