Curbside Services Q&A

How does Curbside Service work? 

  • Place your holds online or by calling 519.354.2940.
  • When your items are ready for pickup, call the library or go online to set up an appointment (search for "curbside service"). Due to high demand, you may only book one appointment for pickup per week. 
  • When you arrive at the set appointment time, come to the library vestibule, show your library card or picture ID and your items will be bagged and ready for you!
  • For your safety and the safety of library staff, please practice physical distancing while using our Curbside Service. 

Where can I get Curbside Service? 

Curbside Service is being offered at the following branches, by appointment only. We hope to expand the service to additional branches as it is safe to do so for both staff and patrons. Curbside Service will be offered on the following dates:

Chatham Branch 

  • Tuesday, 4:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, 4:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Ridgetown Branch
  • Tuesday, 4:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Tilbury Branch
  • Thursday, 4:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Wallaceburg Branch
  • Wednesday, 2:00 to 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm

How many items can I take home with me?

You may request and pick up 20 items per visit per week. 

Are my holds "clean"?

All materials returned to the library are quarantined for the recommended 72 hours before they are checked in.

What happens if I miss my pickup window/need to change my pickup time?

In consideration of physical distancing measures and tight timelines, please do not arrive outside of your scheduled pickup window. Should you need to change/re-book your pickup time, please contact the library at 519.354.2940 as soon as you know you are not able to make your appointment. Items not picked up without contacting the library will be released after three days. You can place a new hold on the items if you would like them at a later date. 

Can I walk to the library for my pickup?

Yes. Please stay at least 6 feet from the table as library staff bring out your items.

I have mobility/other challenges; can you put my items in my trunk?

Yes. Please let staff know about any accommodations you may need when we call to schedule your pickup time. You may be asked to give us your license plate number so we can correctly identify your car.

Can I drop in during pre-scheduled pickup times?

Drop-ins during pre-scheduled pickup times cannot be accommodated due to social distancing measures and tight pickup windows. If a pre-scheduled window works better for your schedule, please call the library at 519.354.2940 to schedule an appointment.

Can I place holds on items in all CKPL branches? Why can I only request certain items in the online catalogue? 

Holds can only be placed on items in locations offering Curbside Service. For now, this means you must pick up holds in the location where the item is located. Beginning Monday, July 13, CKPL will begin running a limited courier service between the four branches offering Curbside Service to assist with filling holds requests. The fastest way to obtain items will be picking up at the branch where they are on the shelf, but if you are willing to wait for the courier, you will be able to select any of the four Curbside Service locations for pick up. 

You always have the ability to save titles you see in Encore (the online catalogue) for future reference. When you find items you want to save, just click on "Add to Cart". Once you have saved all the items you want in your cart, click on "My Cart" and then save selections by clicking "save to list". You can create more than one list. When holds are reinstated at all branches, you’ll be able to scroll through your lists and place each of your saved titles on hold.

How do I change my pickup location so I can get my holds at a branch offering Curbside Service?

You can change the pickup location on holds that are not already on the holds shelf, by logging in to your account online ( or contacting the library. At this time, we can only fill holds that are sitting on the shelf in branches offering Curbside Service. Items that are already on the holds shelf cannot be changed to another location at this time. 

How come my pickup location isn't my home branch? Why can't I change the pickup location on some holds?

Currently, you can only place holds on items at the branches offering Curbside Service. Our system will default to the pickup location where the requested item is sitting on the shelf - only in the locations that are offering Curbside Service. You could pick up these items from the location where they are available (when they are ready for pickup) or we can leave the holds on your account for a future date if you would prefer to wait. 

Can I pick up items for another patron? 

We ask that if you are picking up for your family, you let staff know so items can be bundled. Home Service patrons can have their items picked up by a family member or friend as long as they have the patron's library card. 

My family has more than one card with holds ready to pick up. Can I get them all at the same time?

Yes. Please let staff know about any other cards that may have items ready for pickup when they call you to schedule a pickup time. We will do our best to arrange for one family pickup appointment.

Can I return items to the library?

Yes. The external book drop is open 24/7 at the Chatham, Blenheim, Ridgetown, Tilbury and Wallaceburg branches. Please...
  • Put your loose library items in the chute (no bags or boxes). Returns will not be accepted in person at the curbside pick up doors. 
  • Expect items to remain checked out on your card for at least 72 hours while they are quarantined. No fines will accrue during quarantine time.
  • Keep your donations at home (for now!)

How long can I keep items I check out through Curbside Service? 

Due dates of items checked out before the closure are set to July 31, 2020. Due dates for items checked out during Curbside Service will be 3 weeks from date of pickup for all formats (except park passes). CKPL has temporarily implemented automatic renewals for most collections, provided the item is not on hold for another patron. Please check the due dates on the due slip provided with your curbside pick up. No overdue fines will accrue while the libraries are closed.

What happens to items I had on hold before the library closed? 

Library staff have been busy contacting patrons to arrange a Curbside Service pickup time for holds that were ready for pickup before we closed in March. At this time this is only being done at CKPL branches offering Curbside Service. Holds at other branches will continue to sit on the holds shelf until we are able to expand our services. If staff have contacted you about your holds, please let us know if you would like to pick them up - if we can't reach you, we will pass the hold along to the next patron waiting for this material. Messages not returned within three days will be released to other patrons. You can place a new hold on the items if you would like them at a later date. 

What if I no longer want the items I have on hold?

You can cancel items you have on hold by logging in to your account online ( or contacting the library. You can also freeze your holds until a future date. See our Borrowing FAQ page for instructions. 

Can I renew my items online?

You can renew items online or by calling the library at 519.354.2940 (please be prepared to provide the number on your library card when calling). Renewable items can be renewed to a maximum of two times. The library system will attempt to renew your borrowed items two days before their due date. If successful, your loan period will be extended for 21 days from the existing due date, an additional full loan period. If unsuccessful, you will continue to receive notices about overdue items. You may wish to try to renew manually before you return the item.

Will my fines keep increasing while branches are closed?

Any outstanding library fines will not increase while branches are closed. However, any fines that were owing on your account before March 14, 2020 will remain.

Can I apply for a library card?

Community members 16+ can apply for a temporary account. A temporary account is only for e-resources and would need to be changed to a full service card for Curbside Service. 

I registered for a temporary account when the library was closed, can I use it for Curbside Service? 

Temporary accounts will need to be changed to a full service account to check out physical materials. At this time, we are not able to process new library cards, however we hope to soon be able to offer our Virtual Card service where patrons can apply for a card online and receive it through the mail. 

I have a Virtual Card - can I borrow books and movies?

Not at this time. Virtual cards can be changed to a regular borrower's card once the library reopens to the public. Continue to use our amazing electronic resources for books, movies, and music in the meantime!

Can I pay fines/apply for a library card during pickup times?

These services are not available during pickup times. Please contact the library at 519.354.2940 for assistance. You can pay fines or fees over $5 online when you login to your library account.

My library card is expired/there is a problem with my card - what should I do?

Please contact the library at 519.354.2940 and staff will assist you.

Can I still use the Virtual Library? 

Yes! CKPL invites you to explore the virtual library of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies and music by visiting

  • Download digital copies of your favorite magazines on Flipster and RB Digital
  • Watch movies and TV shows on Hoopla and Kanopy. Enjoy unlimited Kanopy Kids for a month (counts as only 1 credit) with quality educational content like Sesame Street, Arthur and a language learning series.
  • Read ebooks and audiobooks using OverDrive (Libby), cloudLibrary and TumbleBooks (perfect for kids!) TumbleBooks has animated talking picture books, read-alongs, graphic novels, games, puzzles and more! Hoopla also has graphic novels, audiobooks and music!

Don't have a library card? Sign up for one at

Can I use the public access computers in the library?

CKPL is not re-opening branches at this time until we can provide an effective and efficient library service within the provincial restrictions that is safe for both patrons and staff. Computers are not currently available. 

Can I use the public wifi outside the library?

Free wifi is available at all 11 CKPL branches between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. Please surf from your car and/or practice safe social distancing. SSID: CKPL-wifi.

Can I request or return an interlibrary loan? 

We are not accepting requests for interlibrary loans at this time. Interlibrary loans that have been borrowed from other libraries can be returned to one of our open book drops.

Is the library accepting book donations? Will the library be holding book sales? 

CKPL will not be accepting book donations until a later date and book sales are suspended as well. Thank you for your understanding and patience. 

When are you reopening to the public?

We miss you too! We don't know for sure. Be sure to check out our Digital Collections, as well as our digital resources for kids and teens while we wait to see each other in person again.