Posted: June 30, 2020
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Messages from our CEO


Updated: July 27, 2020

Waterloo Public Library to re-open on Tuesday, September 8

We are delighted to announce that beginning Tuesday, September 8th, all locations of the Waterloo Public Library will be open to the public. We are excited to welcome you back to the library and can’t wait to see you. While your visit to the library may be a little different when you return in September, our goal, as always, is to make it an enjoyable, rewarding experience. Beginning September 8, you’ll be able to visit any WPL location to browse and borrow items in-person once again.

The decision about opening to the public on Tuesday, September 8th was made with careful consideration. Our WPL To Go Curbside Pick-up Service has been enormously popular and successful in getting library items (over 40,000 of them!) into the hands of our customers while continuing to ensure their safety. With computers and WiFi services currently available at the Main Library and McCormick Branch, along with our extensive Virtual Program line-up, Digital Library and more, we are focused on delivering the best possible library experiences that we can, while keeping the health and wellbeing of both our customers and staff at the forefront.

Until we re-open, we encourage you to continue using all of the services that are available to you now, including:

We’re happy to serve our customers in these very key ways as we move thoughtfully into the Province’s Stage 3 of Re-opening. 

We look forward to seeing you back in the library beginning September 8th and will provide further details about our re-opening in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library


Updated: July 16, 2020

Waterloo Public Library plans for re-opening

As you may have heard, the Region of Waterloo is permitted to enter Stage 3 of Ontario’s Framework for Re-opening Our Province as of this Friday, July 17th. While we are excited to re-open our library spaces in the future, we are not yet expanding in-person library services at this time.

We want to ensure that we are taking all the necessary safety precautions before we welcome customers into the library once again. The safety of customers and staff continues to be our top priority.

We encourage our customers to:

We will continue to provide updates about our re-opening plans.

As always, we thank you for your patience & understanding and look forward to seeing you soon. We appreciate your feedback and remain committed to providing you with excellent customer service and positive library experiences.

Sincerely,

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

Updated: July 10, 2020

The Region of Waterloo mandates wearing of masks in enclosed public spaces

As you may have heard, Waterloo Regional Council recently passed by-laws that require the wearing of masks on transit and in enclosed public places effective July 13, 2020 – September 30, 2020. These by-laws would include any spaces of the Waterloo Public Library. If you will be coming into a library location, either for WPL To Go or to use a computer/Wifi seat, we kindly remind you to wear a mask.

You can find more information about the by-laws here: Region of Waterloo – Face Covering By-law

Thank you for your co-operation and kindness in helping to keep one another safe.

Sincerely,

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

Updated: July 2, 2020

Exciting news at Waterloo Public Library - extended services, new hours

We’re delighted to announce that, starting Tuesday, July 7th, we’ll be offering WPL To Go at our McCormick Branch on Tuesdays & Saturdays. You can now place holds and choose the McCormick Branch as your pick-up location. PLUS, in order to serve you better, we’re changing our WPL To Go hours across all locations AND you can return items at any of our branches. More details here.

Starting Monday, July 6th – Pick-up holds AND return items:

Main Library
Mon – Sat: 10:30am – 5:30pm

John M. Harper Branch
Mon & Wed – Sat (no Tues service): 10:30am – 5:30pm

*NEW* McCormick Branch (begins Tuesday, July 7th)
Tues & Sat: 10:30am – 5:30pm

In addition, computer & WiFi services will be available begininng July 6th at select locations.

We are also pleased to share that for the rest of 2020, there will be NO overdue fines! Plus, any existing fines will be put on hold until 2021. So, you don’t need to worry about them for now.

If you currently owe more than $10 in fines & fees and your access has been limited, you can once again borrow, renew or place holds on your library account, effective immediately. Find more info here.

We realize that these past months have difficult and challenging for everyone. We want to remove any financial barriers so that our customers have access to library collections. We also want to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and the public during these COVID times by reducing the handling of money.

As always, we appreciate your patience and understanding through these unprecedented circumstances.

Sincerely,

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

Updated: June 16, 2020

Waterloo Public Library remains closed while planning for next phase of service.

The staff at WPL continue to work hard on the next phase of library services and appreciate your patience as we identify ways to best serve our customers while ensuring the safety of both the public and staff. We are continuing to follow the orders provided by the Provincial Government as we take next steps towards re-introducing services such as public use of library computers.

We encourage you to use our WPL To Go Curbside Pickup as we prepare to re-introduce limited, in-library services and will provide more details in the coming weeks.

Once again, we thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

June 5, 2020

Waterloo Public Library launches new curbside pick-up service, WPL To Go

I am thrilled to introduce Waterloo Public Library’s new curbside pickup service, WPL To Go, which will begin Monday, June 15. Our staff have been working away behind-the-scenes to create the best way for us to bring the library to you. While our locations remain closed at this time, we invite you to use WPL To Go so that you can enjoy items from our shelves once again.

Starting Monday, June 15th, you’ll be able to pick up requested items after you’ve been notified that your holds are ready. Place your orders now!

How "WPL To Go" Works

1. Place items on hold through the library’s catalogue or by phone at 519-886-1310. Need help? We can assist you in choosing materials. Simply contact us via AskUs.

2. Wait for a notification that your item(s) are ready for pick up and proceed to your designated pickup location. No appointment needed!

3. When you arrive at your designated pickup location please have your library card number ready and call us at the number indicated on the exterior signage

4. A due date receipt will be included with your items. All materials will be checked out for an extended loan period of 6 weeks

We appreciate your patience and understanding as there is currently a high level of demand which may impact availability of materials as well as turnaround time for your requested items.

You can find full details about WPL To Go here, including information about how to return items you currently have, safety precautions that are in place during this phase of service and a list of FAQs.

On behalf of all of us at WPL, we are excited to welcome you back to your public library and look forward to seeing you soon.

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

May 15, 2020

Waterloo Public Library plans to offer future curbside pickup

On Thursday, May 14, Premier Doug Ford announced Phase 1 of Ontario’s reopening plan. This included a list of services and businesses that can resume some form of service as of Tuesday, May 19. Public libraries were, unexpectedly, included on this list for curbside pickup.

At this time, the Waterloo Public Library is not ready to offer curbside pickup or returns. The safety of staff and customers continues to be our top priority and we are committed to ensuring proper health and safety measures are in place, including personal protective equipment for staff, before this service can be introduced.

Library staff have been working extensively on plans for reopening, which will happen in phases, with curbside pickup being part of our first phase. We will continue to align with the City of Waterloo and follow the guidance of provincial leaders and health authorities. Library services will be reintroduced when we are ready to do so as safely as possible. A reminder that our book returns remain closed at this time.

We will keep you updated on our reopening plans, including when curbside pickup will be available, and ask for your understanding and patience. We look forward to seeing you all again in the future but, for now, would love to connect with you virtually at wpl.ca.

Need a library card? Sign up online for instant access to eBooks, eMagazines, online learning & more in our Digital Library.

Check out our Virtual Programs, with interactive fun for all ages.

Discover Endless Possibilities - all the things you can do at home with your library card.

Have a question? Contact us at askus@wpl.ca or 519-886-1310 – we’re happy to help.

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

April 15, 2020

On Wednesday, April 15, the City of Waterloo, in collaboration with local municipalities, "agreed to cancel all spring indoor and outdoor municipal recreation programs throughout the region up to and including June 30, 2020.

In addition to these program cancellations, all municipal cultural, recreational and leisure facilities in local municipalities including City of Waterloo Museum, Waterloo Public Library, recreation facilities, community centres, arenas, pools and sports fields will remain closed through to June 30, 2020."

While we are saddened by the extended (but necessary) closure, staff at the Waterloo Public Library continue to provide you with resources, virtual programs and digital content.

A reminder:

  • Don't worry, while we are closed you won't accumulate overdue fines on library items due after March 14
  • Due dates will be adjusted accordingly
  • You will not be able to place new holds, but can add items to “My List” on your account
  • Existing holds pickup will be extended once we re-open
  • Library card expiry dates will be extended
If you have any questions about accessing library resources, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at askus@wpl.ca or 519-886-1310 - we are here to help.

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

April 2, 2020

On Wednesday, April 1, as another step in their coordinated emergency response to the global pandemic, the Region of Waterloo and all area municipalities extended the public closure of municipal facilities until at least May 4.

The Waterloo Public Library remains closed at this time and all programs and events are cancelled. Our book return chutes remain closed so we ask that you keep any library items you currently have.

A reminder:
  • Don't worry, while we are closed you won't accumulate overdue fines on library items due after March 14
  • Due dates will be adjusted accordingly
  • You will not be able to place new holds, but can add items to “My List” on your account
  • Existing holds pickup will be extended once we re-open
  • Library card expiry dates will be extended
Please visit the City of Waterloo website for a full listing of closures in the City and other relevant information.

Once again, we thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Laurie Clarke,
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

March 26, 2020


On Wednesday, March 25, the Region of Waterloo declared a State of Emergency. Local municipalities followed suit, including the City of Waterloo.

This action changed the anticipated re-opening of City of Waterloo facilities which had been initially been set for April 6th.

In alignment with the City, please note that the Waterloo Public Library is now closed until further notice.

We will continue to provide updates and thank you for your patience and support as we face these challenging times together.

Laurie Clarke,
CEO, Waterloo Public Library

March 15, 2020

In alignment with the City of Waterloo and as a preventative measure to minimize the possible spread of COVID-19, Waterloo Public Library will be CLOSED from Monday, March 16th through Sunday, April 5th, 2020. All programs, events and room rentals are also cancelled during the closure. We anticipate that we will be open regular hours on Monday, April 6th.

This was a very difficult decision to make but our customers and staff always come first.

During this closure, all library material due dates and hold expiration dates will be extended until April 14, 2020. There will be no additional fees or fines on your account.

All book drops are CLOSED and we ask that you keep your borrowed items until the library re-opens. We have implemented the following to respond to this situation:

  • Any items with a due date between March 13 and April 13 will be extended to Tuesday, April 14
  • Holds pickup will be extended to Tuesday, April 14
  • No fines will accumulate on borrowed materials until Tuesday, April 14
  • Library card expiry dates extended to July 1 2020 - for cards set to expire between today and July 1

ATTENTION STUDENTS: If you are a university or college student who currently has materials checked out, and if you are moving out of the Region of Waterloo before we re-open, please contact us at circulation-wpl@wpl.ca and we will extend your loan period until September 2020.

As a reminder, WPL has many digital services available to you for free in our Digital Library.

If you don’t have a library card, sign up online and get instant access to library resources.

In an effort to help you navigate through the news that is being reported regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), below is a list of credible websites which continue to update information as the COVID-19 situation is monitored.

Region of Waterloo Public Health

Ontario Ministry of Health

Health Canada


World Health Organization

As you know, this is a constantly evolving situation. We will continue to provide updates.

I appreciate your understanding and support.

Laurie Clarke
CEO, Waterloo Public Library