Holds Not Picked Up Fee – FAQ

1. Why is Oakville Public Library implementing a $1 fee for holds that are not picked up?

OPL is committed to preserving this service that is so important to our customers and we want to increase the number of materials that are enjoyed by all. While 85% of holds filled at Oakville Public Library are picked up by the customers who requested them, there are still many holds that arrive on the shelf and do not get picked up. Holds that aren’t picked up are a lost opportunity – time spent sitting on the shelf or in transit from branch to branch means that they can’t be enjoyed by anyone. In the 2013 calendar year, 85% of holds were picked up by customers. While this seems like a large number, the remaining 15% represents 60,000 holds that sat on the shelf (expired), decreasing the number of customers that were able to enjoy the material in a timely manner.

2. When will the $1 fee be implemented?

The $1 fee for holds not picked up will be effective as of January 5, 2015. A one-month grace period will be in effect for customers who may not have learned of the fee due to infrequent branch visits or library use.

3. How can I avoid being charged for expired holds?

Managing your holds has never been easier. There are several ways to manage your library account and cancel or pause holds you are unable to pick up or no longer desire:

a) Login to your library account via www.opl.ca with your library barcode and pin #. Under the ‘My OPL’ tab, click ‘Holds’ to view items you have placed on hold. If you would like to cancel or pause a hold, you must do so before it is on the shelf to avoid incurring fees. Simply click ‘Cancel’ or ‘Pause’ on your preferred title:

Select cancel or pause on the item you wish to cancel or pause.

b) Download our mobile app by searching ‘OPL to Go’ in your device’s app store. Login with your library barcode and pin #.
Click the ‘My OPL’ icon on from the bottom menu and tap the ‘Active Holds’. Click the ‘+’ sign next to the item you wish to cancel or pause; you will be prompted with these two options. If you wish to pause a hold, you will be asked to enter a date when you would like the hold to be active again.
Tap 'My OPL' and then 'Active Holds'. Tap the + sign beside the item you wish to cancel or suspend.

Example: If you are going away on vacation from February 3 – 16, enter the first available date you will be able to pick up your desired item; February 16 or 17. Your place in the holds queue will resume at this time.

c) You can always call in to our library account access line to cancel or pause your holds: (905) 815-2042 ext. 5996. You will require your library barcode and pin #. This access line is open 24/7.

d) You can visit or call in to your preferred branch location and speak with a staff member who can assist you in pausing or canceling your holds.

4. What is the difference between canceling and pausing holds?

If you no longer wish to borrow an item you’ve placed a hold on, you must cancel it within its 4 day pickup window to avoid incurring a fee. Should you know in advance that you will be out of town or unable to visit a library branch in the near future, it is recommended that you pause your items on hold. Once you are available to visit a library branch again, you can reactive your holds and resume your place in the hold queue. You will not lose your place in line!

5. How will I know when my holds become available?

There are many ways to be notified when your holds become available:

a) Via e-mail notifications delivered to the address associated with your online library account

b) Via SMS (text message) notifications* – you can activate this service by visiting a library branch and speaking with a staff member

c) By manually checking the status of holds using OPL to Go, the library’s mobile app

d) By calling the library’s account access line: (905) 815-2042 ext. 5996.

* If you choose to receive SMS notifications, e-mail notifications will be discontinued. You must choose only one of these preferred notification methods.

6. How long do I have to pick up my holds once I receive notice that they are available?

Holds must be picked up within 4 days of notification.

7. What if I need extra help managing my holds?

Library staff are always happy to help, whether you call in or visit in person.

8. Are other libraries implementing a fee for holds not picked up?

Oakville Public Library’s decision to implement a $1 fee for holds not picked up was made after an extended period of research and deliberation. Charging a fee for holds not picked up is a current best practice in many large-scale library systems across the GTA (i.e Toronto, Mississauga).