We're Open

Updated: November 23, 2020

Waterloo Public Library remains open as Region of Waterloo moves into Province of Ontario's COVID Red-Control

All locations of the Waterloo Public Library remain OPEN as the Region of Waterloo moves into the Red-Control stage of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework.

Masks continue to be required and customers should self-screen before coming to the library. More information about a COVID self-assessment can be found here:

Region of Waterloo - 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Have a question? Email us at askus@wpl.ca or by calling us at 519-886-1310.

While your visit to the library may be a little different than before, our goal, as always, is to make it an enjoyable, rewarding experience.

Here is what you can expect when you visit the library:

What's Available

  • Browse & borrow items in-person at all locations
  • Holds pick-up at all locations
  • Virtual programs & events
  • Exterior return slots open 24/7 at all locations - hotspots and board games must be returned inside NOTE: the exterior return slot at the John M. Harper Branch will be closed Mon Dec 21 - Tues Dec 28 for maintenance. Please return items inside the building during open hours. Remember, there are no overdue fines!
  • Interlibrary loans

By Reservation Only

What's Not Available

  • In-person library programs
  • Toys & play areas in our Children's Department
  • Lounge & common seating areas
  • Extended library visits
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Book Sale
  • Study Rooms and meeting room rentals

How We're Keeping You Safe

  • Face masks and hand santizer available as needed
  • Returned materials are isolated for a minimum of 72 hours
  • Increased cleaning schedule
  • Staff training on safety measures
  • Limiting occupancy based on local Public Health guidelines
  • Reorganized spaces for physical distancing including plexiglass barriers at service points

What You Can Do To Help

  • Please stay home if you are feeling unwell, have a fever, new cough or difficulty breathing
  • Sanitize your hands before entering the building
  • Wear a face mask or face covering
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Limit the duration of your visit

Library Hours:

Main Library

Monday to Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

John M. Harper Branch

Monday to Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

McCormick Branch

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Check out the FAQs below for answers to your questions. Need help? Contact us!

WPL Re-Opening FAQ

Is it safe to borrow library materials during the COVID-19 outbreak?

We are taking all precautions to ensure that materials on our shelves and those that are returned to us are safe to be handled by members of the public.

Any returned items are not being handled for the recommended period of 72 hours.

If you are feeling unwell or if any member of your household is sick or in isolation, we ask that you refrain from borrowing library materials. This will help us all feel more comfortable and confident with the safety of our collections.

How are you ensuring the safety of customers and staff?

The health and safety of our staff and our customers is our top priority. Here are the measures we are taking:

  • Staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment including face masks or coverings
  • Physical distancing protocols in place
  • Returned materials are isolated for a minimum of 72 hours
  • Increased cleaning schedule including disinfecting of high touch surfaces
  • Staff training on safety measures
What are the library hours?

Beginning Wednesday, December 30th, WPL will be open for WPL To Go curbside pick-up only. Please ensure you have booked a pick-up time slot before going to your favourite WPL location.

Hours of operation may vary due to the holidays. Please review our Holiday Hours to see when WPL To Go will be available.

Main Library
Monday to Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

John M. Harper Branch
Monday to Saturday: 11:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

McCormick Branch
Open Wednesday ONLY: 11:00am to 6:00pm
Monday - Tuesday and Thursday - Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

How do I return items to the library?

ALL items must be returned through the external returns slots which are open 24/7 at all locations.

Hotspots, board games and borrowed program kits must be returned directly to staff during library hours.

To ensure that our collections are safe we will continue to isolate ALL returned items for at least 72 hours. As a result of placing returned items under 72-hour isolation, it could take 5 to 7 days for items to be removed from your library account. No fines will be incurred during this period.

Do I have to wear a mask when I arrive for curbside pick-up?

In accordance with both the Province of Ontario Reopening Rules of Stage 3 and the Region of Waterloo's Face Covering By-law, masks that cover both the nose and mouth MUST be worn when at the library*.

*Unless exemptions apply.

Mask wearing regulations can be found at the links below:

- Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 Regulation 364/20

- The Regional Municipality of Waterloo Face Covering By-law No. 20-035 & Amendments

Can I bring in book donations?
At this time, we are not accepting book donations or any other items. 
How long do we get to borrow items for?
Most items will have a loan period of 3-weeks. See the full listing of loan periods here.

While no overdue fines are currently being charged, we do ask that you return overdue library materials.

Holds pick up time will continue to be 7 days.
Will there be fines charged on my overdue items?
There are currently no overdue fines at WPL. This will continue into 2021.

View full details here.