Toronto Public Library Homepage

What "in transit" means

When a hold in your account says that it is "in transit," this means that a copy of the item has been assigned to fill your hold. The item is now (or soon will be) on its way to your pickup location.

How long items will take to get to you

New items just purchased by the library and not yet in circulation

Average time "in transit": up to 10-14 days

Explanation: The "in transit" message displays on your account page as soon as the item barcode is added to the system in our Processing Department. Once the item is barcoded, it still requires full processing with labelling, dust jacket covers, etc. The volume of new material is quite high, and it may take up to 10-14 days for the item to be delivered to your pickup location.

Items that are already in circulation

Average time "in transit": 4-5 days

Explanation: The "in transit" message displays on your account page as soon as library staff scan the item - either after retrieving it from the shelf, or when another customer returns it. The entire shipping process - from the moment the item is scanned to receipt at your pickup location - on average takes 4-5 days. At some libraries with a high volume of incoming deliveries, the average time may be higher

Once the item is received at your designated pickup library, it is checked in as soon as possible. Your account page is immediately updated, and the item will display as "Ready for Pickup."

If your item is taking a long time

The library's delivery system handles over 200,000 transit items on any given day. As with any high-volume operation that involves manual handling of the items, there are errors that can add delays to our delivery time.

Items that have been in transit for more than two weeks have their status changed to "missing." If this happens to an item you are waiting for, you will then be assigned the next available copy.

If you are concerned about a hold that has been in transit for a long time, talk to staff at your local branch or contact Answerline.