The Latest on WBRL's Expansion of Service

By Nicole Andrews on October 22nd, 2020

We continue to expand our stages of service in WBRL’s gradual plan to reimagine physical library services. As of October 22, we will be open Thursday and Friday evenings until 8pm. Our updated hours of service are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10am - 6pm, Thursday and Friday 10am - 8 pm. We will be open with access to Computer Works, printing, Skip the Holds, pre-booked and small group study spaces, and browsing for patrons.

WBRL takes the health and safety of all patrons and employees very seriously, and we are following all recommendations of the provincial government and AHS. Patrons will be expected to follow physical distancing guidelines as posted. We will be continually monitoring our service and making adjustments as necessary moving forward.

Please note, due to the RMWB Bylaw, masks are mandatory during your visit to the library and eating is not allowed at this time.

What days and hours is the library open for services?

The library is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10am-6pm and Thursday, Friday 10am-8pm. 

What services are currently being offered in person at the library?

  • Holds PickUp
  • Self Check out
  • Computer Works
  • Printing
  • Browsing
  • Individual and Small Group Study Space by appointment

How can I get books from the Library?

You can use one of the following services:

  • Place books on hold using our website
  • Place books on hold by phone
  • Place books on hold by using our Book Match service
  • Drop in and use our Skip the Holds service 
  • Come in and browse, choose your own books and use the self check out
  • Download e-books and audiobooks on any device

What if I do not know how to place a hold?

Chat with us on our website (click the small red chat button) during open hours, email or check out our video tutorial that outlines the simple steps to placing a hold on an item. You can also call 780-743-7073 to place holds by phone.

What if the book I want to request does not have an option to Place Hold on the website?

Not all of the books that may come up in search will be available in print. We have many books in our electronic resources collection. Currently, only resources with a Place Hold option are available for holds pick-up. For assistance with electronic resources please visit our online chat on our website or email

What happens when I place a hold on an item?

Once you select an item to place on hold the library system flags the item as requested; library staff find the item on the shelf; the item is placed on hold for you; the hold is set aside; you are notified your hold is ready; and you can pick up your item using our holds pick-up service. Check out this video for a sneak peek behind the scenes!

I placed books on hold - when will they be ready?

Placing a book on hold puts you in a queue to have that book checked out to you. If the book is on the shelf, you should receive a confirmation email within a few days. If the book happens to be checked out by another patron, or if there have been hold requests placed before yours, your request will remain in a numbered queue until the book becomes available. It may be several days or even weeks until that item will be available for you. You can check the status of your holds by accessing your account online

Where do I pick up books I have already put on hold?

Once you receive an email letting you know your holds are prepared - please access the library through our front doors located in MacDonald Island Park. Holds are organized on the shelves according to the first initial of your last name. Please follow the social distancing guidelines to pick up your holds from the shelf, then proceed to the self checkout stations to check out your items.

Can someone else pick up my holds? 

Materials can only be checked out to the cardholder or guardian. If you would like to have someone else from your household pick up your holds made on your card, please advise us at we can make the note on your account.

Do I need a mobile phone to pick up my holds when I arrive at the library? 

You do not need to call ahead. Once you receive an email letting you know your holds are ready for pickup, visit the library through our front doors in the MacDonald Island Park Concourse during open hours. You can pick up your holds in the library by entering through our front doors following all physical distancing guidelines and using our self check out service.

Can I call in my holds?

The best way to place holds on items 24/7 is online. If you do not have access to the internet, please call 780-743-7073 during open hours for a Book Match Service staff member to assist you in placing your holds for pick-up.

Do I need to bring a bag with me to pick up my holds? 

Yes, please bring a bag to hold your items.

What if I can't pick up my holds during your pick-up times?

If you cannot come to the library during open hours, you can authorize a family member or trusted friend to pick up your items for you. Please contact prior to arranging pick-up to have an alternate authorized user added to your account.

What if I need help choosing a title, or just want a variety of children’s books? Is there an easier way to “order” books?

Yes! Our online Book Match Service can recommend books for you based on your preferences. This form can also help busy parents quickly request a group of books for your child by simply checking off an age level on the form. Our Book Match staff will select, place on hold and surprise you with a carefully selected group of picture books or board books for holds pick-up!  

Can I put videogames on hold?

Yes, items available in our online cataglogue can be placed on hold, including videogames, audiobooks, CDs, videos and of course books.

Can I come in to browse the collection myself? 

Yes, we are open for browsing Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10am-6pm and Thursday, Friday 10am-8pm. We ask that you limit your time in the shelves and observe social distancing guidelines. 

I Don’t Know What to Read.  Is there a way to get a book recommendation?

Yes!  We would love to help!  Check out our virtual book displays included in our bi-weekly ZINE, use our Book Match Service or visit the library and our Skip the Hold staff can chat with you in person to see what might suit your interests.

Do I have to renew my items?

We have turned on auto-renewals, so your items will automatically renew if no one else has requested it and if you have not passed the maximum 3 renewals per item If you would like to make sure that you have more time with your item, you can access your account online and renew the items early. 

Will I be charged extended use fees (late fees)?

As of March 16, we have temporarily stopped charging extended use fees. While the library remains closed, there will be no new extended use fees. Your items will still be overdue if the system is unable to renew them; we ask that you return the items on or before their due date so the next person can borrow it. Any fees accumulated prior to March 16 will remain on your account.

I live in one of Wood Buffalo’s rural communities. How can I access this holds pick-up service?

Patrons in all Wood Buffalo communities can place books on hold online.  Staff will contact you to set up details for delivery to your community, or to arrange books by mail.  If you have questions regarding service to our rural communities, please email 

What safety measures are you implementing? 

All returned items are quarantined for 96 hours before being checked in. Not all library materials can be sanitized, though quarantining items can help ensure they are safe to handle. Staff are following recommended safety guidelines for handling material.

Are e-books still available?

Yes! You can access our e-book/e-resource collections 24/7 online. For assistance in downloading an e-book to your device you can reach out to our online chat or call 780-743-7073 Tuesday-Saturday 1:00-5:45 pm.

Can I come in to use a computer?

Yes, Computer Works is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10am-6pm and Thursday, Friday 10am-8pm. Please visit the Circulation Desk to book your time or call 780-743-7800 to book in advance. 

Can I print items?

Printing is available using the PrinterOne service and printing from Computer Works computers

Is the Photocopier available?

Not yet, but stay tuned as we continue to add to our in-library services.

Will the Library be holding programs in September?

Yes, all programs remain virtual at this time.  Follow us on Facebook for the following programs:

Mondays: Family Activity Time 1:00pm

Wednesdays:  Storytime 5:30pm

Fridays: Indigenous Learning 10:30am

Saturdays:  Craftivity 12:00pm

Sundays: 1:00pm

Some programs require registration. Visit our events page for more information. 

Can I come in to study?

Yes, there are 10 study tables available for individuals (18+) to book for the purpose of studying on the second floor. Study sessions are by appointment only and are available for individuals in blocks of 1.5hrs. Details regarding outlines for study space can be found here. Please call 780-743-7073 to book your session. Walk in bookings for individuals requesting study space will be accepted at the 2nd floor reference desk based on availability. 

Can groups book study spaces?

Yes, there are 4 study tables available for cohort groups (max 4) to book for the purpose of studying on the first floor. Study sessions are by appointment only and are available for individuals in blocks of 1.5hrs. Details regarding outlines for study space can be found here. Please call 780-743-7073 to book your session. Walk in bookings for groups requesting study space will be accepted at the main floor reference desk based on availability. 

Are Meeting Rooms available?

No Meeting Rooms are available for booking at this time. 

Is there space to sit and read?

Our soft seating is unavailable, however patrons may book a study space (see above). 

Is the Teen Area available?

Currently, the CNRL Teen Area is available for browsing of our graphic novel and YA fiction collections. There is no seating available for study or leisure at this time. 

Can I donate materials? 

WBRL will not be accepting donated items at this time. 

Do I need to return my items that were checked out before the closure?

We're kindly asking patrons to return items checked out before our closure in March by September 30. Returning your items helps us get them into the hands of patrons who are waiting and also determines what items we need to reorder. You can return your items to any of WBRL’s external book drops (outside Suncor Community Leisure Center, Independent Grocer in Timberlea, or Save on Foods Thickwood).