Browse, Borrow & Go!

Under the guidelines of the Keeping Ontario safe and Open Framework, visitors will notice a few changes to their branch experience. To prepare for your visit, please take some time to review the in-branch service changes.

  • Please be aware that non-medical grade face masks are required while visiting the Library as per Region of Waterloo Bylaw 20-035.
  • You will be asked to provide information for the purposes of contact tracing, each time you visit the Library.

For the health and safety of our staff and patrons, we have installed barriers at all service desks, reduced available seating, and removed newspapers, toys and children's Early Literacy Stations.

We ask that all visitors:

  • Use the hand sanitizer provided, upon entering
  • Provide your contact information to our service staff, for the purpose of contact tracing
    • All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, for the purpose of collecting contact-tracing information
  • Practice physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet)
  • Limit your visit to 30 minutes
  • Wait patiently outside if the posted safe distancing maximum occupancy numbers have been exceeded

Please visit our Locations and Hours page for our latest hours of operation.

For patrons who prefer a scheduled pickup of their library items, we will continue to offer our Call & Collect service. 

Need online assistance or don't know what to choose? Reach out to our Ask a Librarian service where a friendly Librarian is ready to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is it safe to visit my library during the COVID-19 outbreak? 

Working within Provincial and local health authorities guidelines, we are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of patrons when visiting us in-branch. This includes the new safety measures and procedures as listed above. 

When you arrive to the library, please follow the listed signage. As per Region of Waterloo Bylaw 20-035, visitors are required to wear a non-medical grade mask and provide their details for contact tracing.

Can I look for items in the library?

Yes! Patrons are welcomed to browse our collections in-person at nine of our branch sites.  

Following the Provincial reopening guidelines, we are adhering to occupancy limits in our buildings. We ask that you limit the length of your visit to 30 minutes, to allow for others to browse the collection.

Patrons may also browse items and place holds online using our Catalogue.

How long will my Holds be available for pick-up?
We're currently offering a one-week pick up of holds, from the date you've been notified.
 How long can I borrow items? 

Most items can be borrowed for 3 weeks. Popular items such as best sellers may be borrowed for up to 2 weeks. Hotspots, museum passes, and games consoles are available for 1 week loans, with no renewals.

How long can I have Express Items? 

Due to popular demand, Express Items are only available for 1 week loans, with no renewals.

Are magazines and newspapers still available to view at the library? 

Newspapers unfortunately are not currently available for browsing or to borrow. All magazines are now available for a regular loan period of three weeks.

How do I return items to the library?

You can return most items 24/7 using the book returns at any of our branches. Please note that hotspots and game consoles MUST be returned in person, at the service desk, not the book return. 

How do I pay overdue fines? 

At this time, we were not charging fines. 

For more detailed information, please reach out to your home branch or our Ask a Librarian service.

 Can I pick up my items at your satellite locations? 
Unfortunately no, we have limited our reopening to our 10 branch sites. 
Can I access in-branch computers?
Yes! Computer use is available in-branch. We ask that you sign-in on arrival for your session.   
Am I able to print documents?
Yes, printing services are available for a minimal fee. The printing cost can be paid by cash or cheque. 
 Can the library offer recommendations on what to borrow? 

Yes we can! Our library staff are experts at selecting materials based on your preferences. For suggestions on what to request, our Ask a Librarian service is happy to help.

I don't have a Region of Waterloo Library card. Can I sign up? 

Yes! Register for your new eMembership by completing a short online form. After completing the form, please allow a few minutes for your library card number and PIN to arrive by email. If you need assistance registering, please email us or call 226-748-8030.

I have an online RWL membership, can I request physical items?

Absolutely! Visit us in-branch, or contact us at or 226-748-8030 to select a home branch from any one of our 10 locations. Before you know it, you'll be upgraded from your online membership to a full service card for pick up and placing holds on physical items from the catalogue.  

Do you have additional questions, thoughts or comments? We'd love to hear them! Please email us or reach out to us at 226-748-8030. Thank you for your ongoing support.   

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