Curbside service coming from public libraries

Your two-months overdue library books can finally be returned without fine next week.

And you can soon take out more books, as Toronto’s public library branches begin rolling out curbside service on Monday.

At the moment more than a million items are currently out on loan, the Toronto Public Library estimated in a press release from the city yesterday.

Starting May 25, select library drop boxes will be opened to receive library materials, with all remaining accessible branches open to accept returns on June 1, the library said. (See list below of local libraries opening drop boxes on May 25.)

“We are all excited about this first step in the reinstatement of our services, with the introduction of curbside drop-off and pick-up of materials,” city librarian Vickery Bowles said in the release. “It’s been so heartwarming to see the public excitement about this news. We know how many Torontonians rely on their library to stay connected, informed and engaged.”

In this time period, library customers can place holds for materials online through the TPL website and pick them up through curbside service set to begin in early June.

Fortunately for those borrowers of the million outstanding items, fines have been suspended since the pandemic began and the grace period will continue until regular library service resumes.

The announcement of the partial reopening of libraries follows last week’s go-ahead from the province that Ontario libraries could resume limited services, with curbside pick-up and drop-off of materials, when they  could do so safely.

However, library branches are to remain closed to the public for in-branch services until further notice.

The libraries were closed along with other Toronto programs and facilities, starting on March 14, on the advice of Toronto’s medical officer of health. “The tentative date for services to resume is April 5,” a city press release said then.


What’s opening

Here are the local branches in Streeter communities that are scheduled to open drop boxes on May 25:

  • Barbara Frum, 20 Covington Rd.
  • Bloor/Gladstone, 1101 Bloor St. W.
  • Don Mills, 888 Lawrence Ave. E.
  • Lillian H. Smith, 239 College St.
  • Maria A. Shchuka, 1745 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • Northern District, 40 Orchard View Blvd.
  • Pape/Danforth, 701 Pape Ave.
  • S. Walter Stewart, 170 Memorial Park Ave.
  • Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.