Library Service & COVID-19

All branches of the TBPL are currently closed due to COVID-19.


No contact holds pick up

Pick up your holds Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm at two of our locations: Mary J.L. Black and Waverley.

How will no contact holds pick up work? 

  • We will phone patrons to let them know their hold is available and to confirm the pick up location
  • Once patrons have received a phone call about their hold, they can pick up at the confirmed location (either Mary J.L. Black or Waverley) between 10 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday
  • Look for a table outside the front entrance at Mary J.L. Black or Waverley. Staff will ask for a library card or ID and safely deliver requested items
  • During inclement weather the Waverley site may be closed; check social media or call 684-6814 before making the trip 

 

Returns now accepted

Return your library materials Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4pm at two of our locations: Mary J.L. Black and Waverley.

How will no contact returns work?

  • At Mary J.L. Black: use the outdoor book return
  • At Waverley: look for the table and place items in the bin
  • Physical distancing measures will be in place
  • No donations of books will be accepted
  • No bags please
  • Items may remain on Library records for up to a week after you have returned them (we eliminated all fines as of January 1, 2020)
  • During inclement weather the Waverley return may be closed; check social media or call 684-6814 before making the trip

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What approach is the TBPL taking in planning to offer library services to the community? 

The Library continues to plan for a phased approach to offering library services to the community. See www.tbpl.ca/media for information about each phase. The health and safety of staff and the public is our primary consideration. The phased approach will be safe and the timing of it will be slow and steady. The phased plan is subject to change and the timing of the phasing is uncertain - some phases will be accomplished more quickly than others but we will notify the community as we move from phase to phase. 

We will be following the City of Thunder Bay Re-Opening Principles, which include: 

Safety First Our first priority is protecting the health and safety of the public and employees. Facilities, programs and services will only re-open when it is safe to do so. 

Value for money We will put a priority on reopening programs and services that deliver highest value at best cost under the current circumstances and identify opportunities to cancel or defer reopening or adjust services to support cost containment. 

Create Opportunity We will consider innovative and adaptive ways to serve the community and invest strategically to support economic recovery 

How will you let the community know when each phase will begin?

Details will be provided to the community in many ways, including on the Library's website at www.tbpl.ca/media, on our TBayPL Facebook page, and in local news sources. 

When will the physical library re-open?

Access to the physical library will return as part of the phased plan. 

When is no contact holds pick up starting? 

No contact holds pick up is starting July 20th. Returns are also still being accepted. 

What is a hold?

A ‘hold’ is created when an item has been reserved for a specific library member. Go to search.tbpl.ca to search our online catalogue.

How do I place a hold if I don’t have a computer?

You can call the Library at 684-6814 between 10 am and 4 pm to request up to five titles to be placed on hold for you. Holds can also be placed online at search.tbpl.ca 

How will no contact holds pick up work? 

  • We will phone patrons to let them know their hold is available and to confirm the pick up location. 
  • Once patrons have received a phone call about their hold, they can pick up at the confirmed location (either Mary J.L. Black or Waverley) between 10 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday. 
  • Look for a table outside the front entrance at Mary J.L. Black or Waverley. Staff will ask for a library card or ID and safely deliver requested items. 
  • During inclement weather the Waverley site may be closed; check social media or call 684-6814 before making the trip 

Can I pick my holds up at any branch? 

No contact holds pick up is available only at the Mary J.L. Black and Waverley libraries in this phase. 

I placed a hold on a title before the library closed due to COVID-19. Can I still get it? 

Yes. We are calling people about holder holds to see if they still want the items and to arrange for a pick up location.

Can I get into the Library when I come to get my holds? 

No. That will not be possible until a later stage of our phased service plan. 

Should I wear a mask? 

We recommend that people wear face masks when picking up holds and interacting with Library staff. 

Can I pick up holds for everyone in my family at once?

Yes, please bring everyone’s library card or identification with you when doing the pick up. 

Can I pick up holds for my neighbour or friend? 

Yes. Arrange to get his/her card or identification and you can pick up their holds. 

Can I pick up Book Club bags? 

This service will be offered in a future phase of our plan. 

Can I get Home Service deliveries at this time? 

This service will be offered in a future phase of our plan. 

How long will you keep my holds for me to pick up?

After the phone call to indicate that the hold is available, we will keep the item reserved for pick up for one week. After one week, it will be returned to the collection or to the next person who has it on hold. 

When and how can I return my items to the Library?

Return your library materials Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm at Mary J.L. Black or Waverley. During inclement weather the Waverley site may be closed; check social media or call 684-6814 before making the trip 

Can I phone the Library with questions?

Library staff are taking calls at 684-6814 from Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. 

What have staff been doing since the buildings closed?

We had a small group of staff working from home since mid-March focusing on a variety of priority tasks, such as online services and collections, technology needs for staff and the public, preparing to return to the buildings and on our phased approach to offering services again. Unfortunately, the majority of library staff were placed on declared emergency leave and some are just returning to work within the past week. 

What are the challenges that TBPL is facing in terms of offering service in a safe way for both staff and the public? 

  • Buildings – two of our buildings are very old and present physical distancing challenges 
  • Collection – browsing the collection cannot be done safely. Scientific evidence indicates that the virus can survive on surfaces such as books, which are difficult to sanitize. TBPL is quarantining all returned items for 96 hours as a result, again according to scientific advice. We want to ensure staff and patron safety. 

Why is TBPL starting with Waverley and Mary J.L. Black? 

  • Brodie is currently having the boiler replaced and is not accessible for staff 
  • County Park will be next 

What kinds of online programming are being offered? Where can I find more information and a schedule?

Follow us on Facebook (@TBayPL) and check out our website (www.tbpl.ca) for updates and current programming offered. 

Are you still offering a Summer Reading Club (SRC)? How and where?

Yes, TD Summer Reading Club will be offered virtually in 2020. Registration began on June 15 and is ongoing. Sign up at https://www.tdsummerreadingclub.ca/ and check out the TBPL social media content related to SRC. 

Can I sign up for a library card/renew my library card?

Yes, you can obtain a card by sending us an email at comments@tbpl.ca - please include your name, address, and phone number. 

Will I be charged overdue fines for late returns?

No, we eliminated overdue fines for everyone at the beginning of 2020. 

What's available for online access (ebooks, databases, etc)?

The Online Stuff page of our website will guide you to everything currently available online. There are also some incredible Online Activities you can access from home! Plus there is great information throughout the Library's website about Government & Legal Information, Local History & Genealogy, and more. 

Can I book library space for later in the year?

At this time, we are not accepting any bookings for library space. 

Where can I find reliable info about COVID-19?

Reliable information can be found through the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, World Health Organization, and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. Watch out for misinformation and scams such as this one flagged in a consumer alert by the Ontario Energy Board (French version here


Media Releases & Public Service Announcements are located here.


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