Frequently Asked Questions About Library Services During the Pandemic

Are Rapid Antigen Test Kits available at Burlington Public Library?

No. At this time, RT Kits are distributed only through select library systems in Ontario where the Omicron variant is significantly present. This may change as the virus spreads, but BPL is not a distribution site at present. Please see the link below for distribution site information.

I'm on the waitlist for a Community Access Pass. Can I use it now?

Jan 2022: Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the following Community Access Passes are NOT ACTIVE at this time due to restrictions or closures: City of Burlington Live Play, Museums of Burlington Ireland House and Joseph Brant Museum, Conservation Halton, Art Gallery of Burlington. The Ontario Parks pass is currently ACTIVE.

Which branches are open?
Six branches city-wide provide limited walk-in library services, browsing, and computer use: Aldershot, Alton, Brant Hills, Central, New Appleby, and Tansley Woods. Alton branch is temporarily closed from January 5 to 25 inclusive as a preventive action to manage increased library staff absences due to the Omicron variant.

  • Virtual programs only
  • No room rental, Interlibrary Loan service

Do I have to wear a face mask when I come to the library?
Yes; it's the law. A properly worn face covering is required attire at all times while inside the library as set out in City of Burlington’s Mask By-law - see Related links below. On arrival, visitors are required to wear a face mask for their own safety, especially when physical distancing is challenging to maintain.

NO eating food inside the library. Your face mask may be briefly removed to sip a drink and then must be immediately replaced over your nose and mouth. Your cooperation is vital for the safety of all.

Halton Region Public Health Commissioner and Medical Officer, Dr. Hamidah Meghani continues to promote that the most effective interventions for reducing the spread of COVID-19 are physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, and staying home when ill.

Can I borrow devices from the library?
Along with print books and DVDs, members can borrow a variety of devices: iPads, Fitbits, Kill A Watt monitors, and Lauchpads. Please place a hold on the item you want to borrow, and we’ll contact you by email or phone when it's ready to pick-up. Only return devices in-person to staff. Do not return to outside drop boxes.

Please call the library to arrange the loan of a DAISY reader. DAISY readers are used to read specially formatted DAISY audiobook disks for people with a print disability. DAISY disks and players may be borrowed by registered CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access) customers who are BPL members.

Will library materials be sanitized before I borrow them?
Unfortunately, we can't promise a 'sanitized' or 'disinfected' library experience at any time, not just during this pandemic. Libraries are high-touch environments and many items we loan out do not like liquid cleaning agents. The health officials we are monitoring agree that the best solution for libraries is to have cleaning and materials handling protocols in place for staff. BPL continues to regularly and thoroughly clean high-touch hard surfaces. Disease experts now recognize that the risk of COVID-19 spreading on paper is low and no longer recommend a quarantine period for returned items.

Are the workstation desks and quiet rooms open to the public?
Limited seating is available at all branches and quiet study rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis at Central and New Appleby branches. We ask all visitors to respect that others may be waiting to use the library and to keep your stay short.

How many days do I have to get my ready holds?
You have 7 open days to retrieve your holds once you've been notified by email or phone.

I have an eCard number. Is this okay to use when I come to pick up my hold items?
Yes. Please have your 14-digit library card number handy when you come to collect and check-out physical items.

When are items due?
The regular loan period applies to all physical items. We understand if you don’t want to come into a public space—or can't get to the library at this time. But if you can, and you are finished with an item, please keep in mind that someone else may be waiting for it. We do not change a daily fine for overdue items.

When will library programs start again?
The library now offers virtual programs, both pre-recorded and live - see Related links below. Unfortunately, it’s too soon to venture a guess when onsite programs will start. Much depends on the status of the COVID-19 outbreak and provincial directions.

Can I request a book through Interlibrary Loan if the library doesn't have it?
Normally, you could; however, our Interlibrary Loan service is suspended until March 2022 due to the phased reopenings of other library systems in Ontario. If there is a title you would like to see added to our collection, please complete an online Request A Title Form – see Related links below

I want to borrow books but my library card is blocked. What do I do?
Before you come to the library, please pay your outstanding balance through your My BPL account, or contact us at 905.639.3611 for help.

I think my library card is expired. What do I do?
Please give us a call during open hours or contact us online.

I have questions about reopening. Who do I contact?
You can call us during our open hours or contact us online. No phone or email service on holidays.

Library Services Updates

Where to find COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kits in Ontario

Virtual programs

Request A Title

City of Burlington Mask By-law 62-2020