Library news

The Sunnyside library was supposed to open August 10, but remains closed for the moment. Its reopening is anxiously awaited by many! PHOTO: LIZ MCKEEN

The Sunnyside branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL), originally scheduled to open August 10, remains closed due to COVID-related staffing challenges. Its reopening date is yet to be determined.

The Main and Alta Vista branches will begin offering some new in-person services on August 17. They include browsing, use of public computers by appointment and card registration. Employees at these OPL locations will also be available to help customers with readers’ advisories and other questions. As of August 17, 22 of the OPL’s 33 branches will be open again.

OPL’s phased plan to resume physical services incorporates physical distancing, enhanced sanitary controls and protocols for employees and customers. Branches will respect capacity limits in line with indoor gathering limits established by the provincial government as part of phase 3 of reopening. Because capacity limits, customers will be encouraged to limit in-branch time to ensure fair access for everyone.

In the meantime, here are some OPL programs you can enjoy online.


Seniors Fitness Class Online: Mindful Stretch & Strengthen

Join Rhona Einbinder, a certified yoga instructor, for 30 minutes of exercise to improve your overall fitness effectively and safely on Friday mornings in August. Register on the OPL website: or by phone at 613-580-2940.

Summer Reading Club Draw

In past summers, library branches across Ottawa had ballot boxes in their children’s departments for kids to enter a draw by reporting how many books they had read that week. This year, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking the draw online.

Kids can enter our Summer Reading Draw for great prizes such as bookstore gift cards and a six-month membership to one of these monthly boxes: Raddish, Oookies, Kiwiko or My Fun Envelope.

The draw is part of the TD Summer Reading Club, Canada’s annual summer reading program supporting continuity in children’s literacy during the break, and doubly important during the pandemic hiatus.

To participate, kids up to age 12 track the days they read over the summer. You can do this on our ballot card, on your own calendar, in an app – whatever works for you! Between August 24 and 31, submit the ballot card or calendar by emailing a picture of your ballot to or by calling 613-580-2940. Please be sure we can read (or hear) your name and library card number! Each child should submit only one ballot.


Teen Staycation

OPL is hosting Teen Staycation, a summer-long series of programs and events designed for teens. The Staycation is all about creative expression – teens can do crafty DIY projects, gaming adventures, music and drama workshops and weekly themed book club discussions. The Staycation promises an interactive itinerary that will keep teens interested and engaged and make the summer of 2020 as fun as it is memorable. Participation is free, online, interactive and social.

Every Staycation session is a single event (except the ukulele lessons) so teens can sign up only for the ones that appeal to them. There is no need to sign up for the whole summer – teens can bring a friend and new Staycationers can join in as the summer rolls along. Enrolment will be kept quite small to encourage real-time interaction and sharing. Craft activities on Tuesday afternoons are drop-in, so there is no need to register in advance. Staycation aims to fill this summer with storytelling, creativity, new skills sharing and interactive fun. For information, check out the Staycation page on our website at

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