The Latest on Library Services

By Nicole Andrews on April 07th, 2021

On April 6, the Province of Alberta announced new mandatory measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. These new restrictions apply province-wide and include the closures of libraries to the public.

Our contactless pickup hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am-6pm from the back entrance of the WBRL.

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.

What days and hours is the library open for services?

The library is open for contactless holds pickup Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-6pm.

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

  • Contactless Holds PickUp
  • Online/Phone Support (Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm)
  • Print on Demand

How does the Contactless Pickup Service work?

  1. Place your hold. Here is a quick video showing you how. 
  2. You will receive notification by email when your holds are ready for contactless pickup. 
  3. Contactless holds pickup will be available Tuesday - Saturday from 10am to 6pm at the back entrance of the library.
  4. When you arrive call 780-743-7800. WBRL staff will direct you regarding your pickup. 
  5. Please respect social distancing at the pickup location. Staff will not be available to converse but will be happy to assist you by phone (780-743-7800).

What do I do if I do not have a library card. 

You can sign up for your free library card on our website. You will need to provide some information about yourself and an email address, then you set up a PIN. When you are ready to use your new card, enter all the numbers provided including the dash (-). If you have any questions about your account you can reach us at 780-743-7800 (Tues-Sat, 10am-6pm) or

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

Chat with us on our website (click the small red chat button) Tuesdays-Saturdays between 10am and 6pm, email or check out our video tutorial that outlines the simple steps to placing a hold on an item. You can also call 780-743-7800 (Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10am-6pm) 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 contactless holds pick-up service. 

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?

Holds will be available for pickup at the back doors of the library Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm. You will need access to a mobile phone to call 780-743-7800 to notify staff of your arrival. If you do not have a mobile phone, call us from home and arrange a pick up time. 

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? 

Yes, you will need to call 780-743-7800 to notify staff of your arrival to pick up your holds. 

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 780-743-7800 Tues-Sat between 10am-6pm and a staff member would be happy to assist you in placing your holds for pickup. You can request items online by using our Book Match Service

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

No, a bag will be provided for your items. 

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

If you cannot come to the library during specified times, 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 borrow or return a FunBox, Kit, of iPad?

Yes! To borrow, follow the same instructions on how to request an item. If you are returning any of these items, please call us at 780-743-7800 to schedule a drop off time. Due to the potential of cold weather, please do not leave items at our pickup door unattended. Brrr. 

Can I come in to browse the collection myself? 

No. We are closed to public browsing in accordance with provincial orders. 

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

Yes!  We would love to help!  You can use our Book Match Service or give the Reference team a call at 780-743-7800 and 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 2020, 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 24 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 (10am-6pm) or call 780-743-7800 Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm.

Can I print items?

Printing is available using the PrinterOn app, available for iOS and Android, AirWatch, Blackberry, Citrix, Microsoft and MobileIron.

There is a 3 hour grace period until the print job expires and is removed from the PRT. After printing, the file is stored until the end of library hours at which time all print jobs are removed.

For more details please call 780-743-7800.

Will the Library be holding programs in September?

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

Sundays (Tween/Teen): 1pm

Mondays (Adult): 1pm

Last Wednesday/Month (Indigenous Learning): 5:30pm

3rd Thursday/Month (Sensory Story Time): 12pm

Fridays (Toddler Story Time):10:30am

Saturdays (Family & Kid): 12:00pm

Visit our events page for more information. 

Can I come in to study, book a meeting room, or book group study?

No, the library is closed to the public 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?

Yes. 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).