Ottawa Public Library adds more in-person services starting July 26

Special to WC Online

WEST CARLETON – Starting Monday (July 26) the Carp and Constance Bay branches of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) will be offering more in-person services.

“Additional services include access passes to museums and parks, the resumption of book donations to the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association, an increased holds limit, and the reopening of the Imagine Space and Labs, as well as the kiosk at the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre,” OPL staff released in a statement today. “Curbside or front desk library services to long-term care facilities will also resume, where permitted.”

Browsing, access to public computers, newspapers and magazines continue inside branches, where space permits. The Bookmobile may also allow one to two customers on board for in-person browsing, depending on the ability to physically distance. 

“Capacity inside open branches will be limited to allow for two metres of physical distancing, as per provincial regulations,” staff said. “Customers may have to wait outside if the capacity limit is reached inside the branch. Given limited seating and capacity, customers will be asked to limit their time reading newspapers and magazines so that others can also enjoy them. We have increased the number of holds that can be placed on items to 200.”

Customers can manage their accounts online by checking, pausing, or cancelling holds to avoid the restocking fee of $1 per item. 

Virtual programming continues. Cardholders can visit our website for more information and to register for summer programs such as SummerlandTeen Staycation and other events for all ages and interests. Summer reading kits for those who registered are available for pickup in branches.  

Chromebooks continue to be available for loans of up to three hours and remote printing by request is available via an online form

“Upgrades to public computers, printers and photocopiers require those systems to be temporarily offline at certain branches during installation,” staff said. “As of July 21, 25 branches have the new systems installed, with seven more branches to follow. Notices will be posted in the branch and online prior to the installation, and employees can help from a safe distance, as we work to provide new systems to better serve our customers.”

Thirty-one of OPL’s 33 branches are now open. Metcalfe Village branch continues to be open on Saturdays to provide contactless services but no public computers are available. Vernon and Fitzroy Harbour branches remain closed until the fall. 

Safety measures such as the mandatory wearing of masks (inside the branch and outside while in line) and the need to maintain a two-metre physical distance from others remain in effect, to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. The health and safety of employees and customers remain OPL’s priority. Ottawa Public Library continues to follow direction from the Province of Ontario and guidance from Ottawa Public Health to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.  

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