The Ottawa Library, also known as the OPL (Ottawa Public Library or la Bibliothèque publique d’Ottawa) brings to the citizens of, and visitors to, the greater Ottawa area, far more than just the ability to borrow books.
The Main Branch
The main branch of what is the largest English / French bilingual library system in North America, is located right in the heart of Ottawa, just blocks from the parliament buildings.
33 Ottawa Library Locations (at last count)
At this, and the Ottawa Library’s 33 locations from Constance Bay to Orléans, and as far south as Manotick and North Gower, the range of services is astounding.
What’s Available at the Ottawa Library?
There is no fee for using the computers and word processors at your local branch, however, if you wish to print a document, there will be a charge for this service.
Museum Passes Anyone?
How about borrowing a museum pass to allow you and your family to visit some of Ottawa’s extraordinary museums at no cost to you?
You can take in the sites at the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Museum of Civilizationand the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology all at no cost with a pass that is available from the OPL. With a valid Ottawa Public Library membership, you can “borrow” the pass.
Museum passes have a seven day limit, and are very popular.
The Ottawa Public Library membership also qualifies the card holder for discounted admissions to the Centrepointe Theatre, National Arts Center, Kanata Symphony Orchestra and the Odyssey Theater, to name just a few of the venues honouring the OPL cardholder.
You Can Register On Line
Residents of Ottawa are able to register on-line or in person for their free Ottawa Public Library card. Non-resident fees are $50.00 per annum for one person or $100.00 for a family. On-line registrations will generate a card for you to pick up when you visit your branch, and at that time you will be required to show photo identification with your complete address.
Visitors to Ottawa qualify for the OPL visitor’s membership plan. It’s only $5.00 per month for a maximum of three months, and you can enjoy all of the facilities at any branch of the OPL during your stay in Ottawa.
University Libraries in Ottawa
Are you interested in using the libraries at the University of Ottawa or Carleton University?
Through the Ottawa Public Library system, holders of valid OPL cards will allow individuals 16 years of age and older to borrow books from these two university libraries.
With the Smart Library Card you can search the libraries of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the War Museum. Some restrictions apply, so do check at any branch of the OPL for details.
If your branch doesn’t have the book you want and it is in the OPL database, your branch will order the book in on your behalf.
Feel free to drop in to the OPL’s used book store, offering used books at great prices, and the opportunity to mingle with fellow book lovers.
The Books Come to You!
Though they have many fixed branches, the OPL offers a bookmobile service where a “library-on-wheels” follows a fixed route to different locations throughout the Ottawa region, bringing books and services to those that cannot get to a branch.
Use an Ottawa Library Meeting Room
Many of the branches offer meeting rooms to rent. The normal fee is higher for a four hour rental if yours is a commercial operation, or less for the four hour session if yours is a non-profit organization. Some locations set their own fees, however. The citizens of Ottawa, and visitors to this great city, have a wonderful resource available to them in the library system. Please visit the main Ottawa Public Library System web site for much more information: www.biblioottawalibrary.ca .
Comments about your Ottawa Public Library experiences are welcome. All comments are previewed for suitability before going live.