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October 2011

Toronto Public Library Website ** Services Restored

October 31, 2011 | TPL Staff | Comments (71)

**Services restored as of 4:15 PM**

Great news: the website is back up! We apologize for the inconvenience which was triggered by the recent US snowstorm. Related to this problem, you will notice that book cover images and summaries are temporarily unavailable. Thanks for your patience.

Our main website is still unavailable. Technology staff are working to restore services as a top priority.

We know this is very inconvenient for you and we sincerely apologize for the prolonged outage. Here are a few links * you may find useful in the meantime. 

* Library card required

Looking for another database?

Comment below and we'll add more links.

Looking for a library branch or a branch phone number?

Google Map of Toronto Public Library Branches

Worried about getting fines?

You can renew items by telephone at 416-395-5505. For other information about your account contact or visit your local branch.

Information about contacting the Library

  • If you are a member of the media and/or would like board reports or other information, please email 
  • For Information about events in branches call Answerline at 416-393-7131.
  • For Information about Appel Salon events at the Toronto Reference Library, call 416-393-7001

We hope to have this resolved as soon as possible, thank you for your patience and understanding. 


Updated Monday 5:45 PM with information about fines.

Updated Tues 11:50 AM with Naxos Music Library

Updated Tues 4:15 PM with services restored message

Returning eBooks and eAudiobooks

October 19, 2011 | Niall | Comments (7)

Book return

You’ve finally finished reading your latest eBook from TPL and want to make it available for other library users.  Or, you’ve reached your checkout limit and want to free up space for additional checkouts.

Many people are wondering, is it possible to return eBooks early? The answer is, absolutely!

If you are using Adobe Digital Editions on a Windows or Mac-based desktop computer, the icon for a title in your bookshelf view will have a small triangle (Item Options) at the top left of it, which when clicked will show a pull-down menu, including "Return Borrowed Item". Select this to return the item and have it removed from your bookshelf.

Click here for more detailed instruction on returning EPUB eBooks.  

Click here for more detailed instruction on returning PDF eBooks.

If you are using Sony Reader Library on a desktop computer, you can right-click the icon for the title and you will see the same "Return borrowed item" option in the menu.

If you are using the OverDrive Media Console app for iOS/Android/Windows Mobile/Blackberry, when you go to delete a title from your bookshelf, a menu will pop up that includes the option "Return & Delete" allowing you to return items early.  Click here for further instruction. 

Returning eAudiobooks

Due to publisher licensing agreements OverDrive eAudiobooks such as WMA or MP3 files cannot be returned early. They will be automatically returned to the library at the end of the lending period.

A note on lending periods

The lending period for eBooks is usually 21 days, but you can adjust this to 7 or 14 day periods when checking out materials in Overdrive.  Additionally, you can set personalized default lending period(s) on a format-by-format basis at the 'Lending Periods' page in your Overdrive Account. The mobile version of this site uses the default lending period you specify at the 'Lending Periods' page.


Problem with OverDrive audiobooks for iPhone/iPod/iPad users

October 17, 2011 | TPL Staff | Comments (10)

What's the problem?

eAudiobooks in .wma format downloaded from our OverDrive service cannot be successfully transferred to Apple devices. The file names show up as numeric strings, and iTunes returns a message saying that the files cannot be synced.

What devices are affected?

  • iPod Touch
  • iPhone
  • iPad

What is causing the problem?

The problem appears to be related to an incompatibility between OverDrive Media Console and iOS 5 (the newest version of the operating system for Apple mobile devices, which was released on October 12)  and/or the latest version of iTunes (version 10.5, released on October 11).

When and how will this be fixed?

OverDrive has not provided an estimate of the time it will take to fix the problem. When they have a solution, they will release an update to the OverDrive Media Console. Watch for updates from the app store when you sync your device in iTunes.

What can I do in the meantime?

If you have a regular (non-Apple) MP3 player or a Blackberry, Windows, or Android device, you can listen to your eAudiobooks from OverDrive on that.

You can also try using MP3 audiobooks from OverDrive. (The problem only affects .wma audiobooks.)

We apologize for the inconvenience and hope this issue will be resolved very soon.

Staff from the Toronto Public Library's eServices team talk about recent changes, future plans and ideas and issues you raise about the library's online and mobile services.

What the Web Team is reading on the web