How Toronto libraries will work in second lockdown

Holds, reserved computers and washrooms will be open to public

Under new grey-lockdown restrictions in Toronto, you won’t be able to browse books, periodicals or videos in person at libraries. But you will be able to pick up holds, go to the washroom and book an hour’s worth of time at a computer.

The new restrictions went into effect at 12:01 am on Monday, November 23. All Toronto Public Library branches are currently closed to adjust to these new regulations and will reopen on Wednesday, November 25.

Unlike when the first lockdown eased up, you don’t have to book an appointment to pick up materials on hold. Drop-off boxes are still available to return materials 24/7.

One of the most important features is that the public will still be able to use computers. People just need to book hour-long slots. You can also print, photocopy or use a scanner at the library if it’s available. Not everyone has access to computers or wi-fi – which NOW dealt with in a cover story earlier this year.

And since finding a public washroom to use during the pandemic has been a challenge, the fact that Toronto libraries will keep theirs open is helpful. Of course, masks are mandatory inside libraries.

Continuing as usual is the TPL’s online services, which include ebooks, eaudiobooks, movies, music and digital learning tools.

All these services require a library card, but if you don’t have one you can sign up for a Digital Access Card to access the library’s digital resources and services.


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