Questions & Answers

If you can't find an answer to your question below, ask us a question.

Ask Us

  • Q: I need to ask a question. Help!

    There are four ways that you can get fast answers to your questions about the Library:

    • If you need an answer right now then you can call your local library. You can find your local library's number on our Hours and Locations Page. (http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/hou_loc_index.jsp)
    • Or you can call our Answerline:

      Phone: 416-393-7131
      TTY: 416-393-7100
      Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
      Friday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
      Sunday: 1:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. (Sept. to Jun.)
    • Or you can chat live with a Virtual Librarian who can help you find web pages and other library resources online at the Virtual Reference Desk from: Monday - Thursday: 12 noon - 8:30 p.m.
      Friday: 12 noon - 5:30 p.m.
      Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Or if your request can wait a while, try the Ask A Librarian feature on this site! We try to get you a brief answer within 24 hours unless you send your question on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or a Holiday in which case, we'll reply the next weekday.

  • Q: I need Homework Help!

    Check out our Explore and Learn section for homework help, where there are over 20 pathfinders on a lot of homework topics. We've also selected many great links to other homework help sites. You can also find great tips on how to do your research.

    Still stuck? Did you try the Ask a Librarian page?

More Questions: How Do I...

  • Q: Learn about "Your Account" and my library card?

    Your Account is part of the Library Catalogue.

    It can be found here.

    Enter your library barcode number in the blank space. This is the 14 digit number on your library card. Please do not include the spaces. Your PIN number is generally the last 4 digits of your phone number - the phone number that is registered with your library card. You can change the pin number if you want.

    Note: If you do not have a library card, your parent will need to bring identification with your name and address on it to any library branch. A library card is free if you work, go to school or own property in Toronto. Others have to pay a fee. Children under 13 must have their cards signed by a parent or guardian.  Want more information?

  • Q: Find out when is my hold coming in?

    • Go to Your Account.
    • Type your library card number and PIN, then click the Login button.
    • Click on Hold Requests or the Holds tab to view your holds.
    • Note: While we are switching over to the new catalogue, you cannot check your holds online.

  • Q: See when my books are due?

    • 1. Go to Your Account.
    • 2. Type your library card number and PIN, then click the Login button.
    • 3. You will see which books you have out and when they are due.

  • Q: Find out if  I have fines or late items?

    1. Go to Your Account.
    2. Type your library card number and PIN, then click the Login button.
    3. Any fines or overdue titles will be listed. The amount listed under "You owe" list what you would pay if the items were returned that day.
    4. To pay fines, see staff at your local branch or they can be paid online by someone with a credit card.

  • Q: Renew my books and other library materials online?

    1. Go to Your Account.
    2. Type your library card number and PIN, then click the Login button.
    3. Click the checkbox beside the title or titles you want to renew.
    4. Click on the Renew Selected button.
    5. The computer will confirm and display the new due date.

  • Q: Find out about my closest library and when it is open?

    You can find the closest library to you by following these easy steps:

    • Go to our Hours and Locations (http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/hou_loc_index.jsp) page of the Toronto Public Library website
    • Choose a section from the map or one of the regions listed below the map that matches where you live to find your closest branch. Or, click on Branches A-Z then either pick the letter of the alphabet you need or scroll down the page till you see your branch's name.
      Not sure it's the right branch? Check out the map included with each branch information.

  • Q: Find a book?

    Do you know the name of the book or who wrote it? Go to the Catalogue Page to look it up. Other tips to consider:

    • Just looking for a good story? Look at the booklists.
    • See what other kids have recommended. Kids Said it
    • Go to the Research Skills section to search the database NoveList, which has many good books.

    Here are some great tips to consider when searching through our catalogue:

    • In the basic search you can search by author, title, and keyword.
    • Enter your search terms in the search box, then click on SEARCH. For example, type "How to Eat Fried Worms" in the search box. Click SEARCH. You will get a page listing of matching titles.
    • Click on the title you want. You may get a list of your title in various formats such as Large Print, cassette, video or CD. Items with no "Format" are usually books.
    • Each title is a link. Choose which title you want (and which format) by clicking on the title.
    • This will take you to a page with more information such as:
      - Branch location - to see locations, you must scroll down
      - Status of copies (whether in branch or not)
      - Number of copies
      - And other facts about the item
      Too many books!

      Did you get too many adult books in your search results? Try this:

      Type in your search term and click Search.
      Then, on the left hand side under Age Levelclick on Children.

      This will limit the list of titles to kids' books. You can then click on a title, and you will get the catalogue information with the copies/holdings information.

      My library doesn't have the book! What do I do now?

      Simple! Have you found the item you want? Yes? Then click on 'Place Hold.' If you haven't already logged in, you will be asked to enter your library card and PIN number. We will send the book or DVD or other item to whatever library you want to pick it up at.