OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Public Library hopes you will be able to start checking out books and materials in mid-June.

The COVID-19 “Recovery Priority One Plan” to be presented to the Ottawa Public Library Board on Thursday recommends opening six branches for curbside pickup and resuming home deliveries to vulnerable residents in approximately three weeks.

According to the report, the library branches that will open are the downtown Main branch, Beaverbrook Branch, Cumberland Branch, Greenboro Branch, Nepean Centrepointe and Ruth E. Dickinson Branch.

Staff say the six branches were selected because they are larger facilities that can “accommodate quarantined returns, transferring of holds from closed locations to open locations, and employee physical distancing requirements.” The report adds the six locations have adequate parking and transit access, and provide coverage to all areas of Ottawa.

Starting June 8, the branches will accept returns and schedule holds pickup appointments.

Starting June 15, the Ottawa Public Library says the six branches will be open for curbside pickup service, and homebound deliveries and returns will begin.

The hours of operation for curbside pickup at the branches will be:

  • Mondays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Fridays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Ontario Government announced on May 14 that libraries could begin offering curbside pickup.

Ottawa Public Library branches have been closed since March 16.

The library estimates 25 per cent of its collection, approximately 500,000 items, are currently checked out.  The Ottawa Public Library is looking at a 72-hour quarantine for all returned material.

“Current checkouts and anticipated returns represent a significant volume of material. Planning for returns also includes a new consideration: the requirement for material to be quarantined, safely, for 72 hours, and the retired space to store material during this time,” the report for the Ottawa Public Library Board says.

There are currently 14,000 existing holds on branch shelves for customers. Staff estimate it will take a minimum of two weeks of curbside service for most customers to pickup their existing holds.