St. Thomas Public Library COVID-19 Service Updates + FAQs

Library Service Updates

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

In light of the announcement from the Province of Ontario regarding a province-wide shutdown beginning on Saturday, December 26, St. Thomas Public Library will be transitioning back to curbside pickup service ONLY, effective Monday, December 28. We will continue to listen to guidance from Southwestern Public Health and the Province of Ontario to determine when the library may re-open. The province-wide shutdown means that the library building, including computer access, will not be available to the public while we are under the provincial shutdown order.

St. Thomas Public Library will offer curbside pickup services Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Please note, the library will still be closed on Thursday, December 31 at 1 p.m. for New Year’s Eve and Friday, January 1 for New Year’s Day. Library users will be able to return books in the bin at the front of the library. Processes are in place to ensure staff and customers’ health and safety during these uncertain times.

Library users will be able to order books and other materials by placing them on hold through the library’s online catalogue at or by calling the library at 519-631-6050 and pressing “1”. They will receive an email letting them know when the holds are available for pick-up. The library is following all guidelines laid out by Southwestern Public Health for sanitizing materials, including quarantining materials before allowing them to be recirculated.

Previous Library Service Updates

Wednesday, August 27

Beginning Monday, August 31, 2020, St. Thomas Public Library will be reopening the library building to the public for limited service Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Limited service includes pickup of holds, browsing for and borrowing items, and use of public computers and microfilm readers by appointment. We continue to accept returns through the return bin at the front entrance of the library.
During this time, quick visits are encouraged due to limits on the number of people allowed inside the library building at one time. Seating areas and public washrooms are not available. Masks are required for entry per the Southwestern Public Health Letter of Instruction and City of St. Thomas By-Law.
We are taking every precaution to ensure staff and community safety. Staff are screened prior to starting work each day. We are wiping down high-touch surfaces regularly, including cleaning computer stations between each use. Plexiglass is installed at service desks. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building. We continue to quarantine library materials for a minimum of 86 hours upon return before they are recirculated.

Monday, July 13

To our St. Thomas community,

As the Province enters into Phase 3 of re-opening, St. Thomas Public Library has decided not to re-open the library building until we are confident we can provide a safe and efficient library service for both patrons and staff. We are working hard on a re-opening plan that meets both provincial and local health guidelines, and we look forward to sharing this information with you soon. We continue to offer curbside pick-up of library materials. Though computers are not currently available, free public WiFi is available outside the building for personal devices.

Please continue to monitor our website,, where we will share updates as they become available.

Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to welcoming you again as soon as we are able to do so safely!

Monday, June 8

St. Thomas Public Library is happy to announce that Curbside Pickup Service begins today, Monday, June 8! Please read the full details of this service on our website at

You can read our press release about Curbside Pickup Service here.

You will be able to place materials on hold online or over the phone for pickup by appointment during curbside pickup service hours:
Monday – Friday: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Book returns are also being accepted at the library during the hours listed above. No appointment is needed to return items. Returns will not be accepted after hours.

Wednesday, June 3

Curbside pickup is coming soon! We are currently catching up on previously placed holds… stay tuned for expanded service coming in the very near future!

Friday, May 15

As per the Government of Ontario’s May 14th released detail list of Stage 1 openings, public library services may resume for delivery and pickup as early as May 19, 2020. While St. Thomas Public Library (STPL) truly appreciates that library services are valued by the community, STPL is delaying an immediate launch of such services until processes and measures have been fully developed to ensure our staff’s and customers’ health and safety during these uncertain times.

For more information, please read our full press release.

Thursday, March 26
On further guidance from the provincial government and the City of St. Thomas, library staff have been allowed to return to work. While the building remains closed, we will be able to assist you from Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays), both over the phone and on social media. We appreciate your patience during this time as we work to follow the advice of both the municipal and provincial governments

Tuesday, March 24

Due to the new provincial order or the closure of non-essential services, library staff will no longer be available to answer questions on social media or over the phone. The library will be completely shut down and unavailable until further notice.

Monday, March 16

St. Thomas Public Library will be CLOSED until further notice starting Monday, March 16 in response to the COVID-19 situation. Due dates for all outstanding materials will be extended as we will not be accepting returns at this time. Our holds locker and kiosk services at Elgin Centre are suspended throughout the closure.  If you have any questions please call us at 519-631-6050 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

For more information on services impacted by COVID-19, check the City of St. Thomas website.

  • Tax Clinics at the library are CANCELLED until further notice.
  • All programs and events at the library are cancelled until further notice.
  • The Friends’ Shop at Elgin Centre is CLOSED until April 6, 2020.


Library Service: Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I return my books?


You can return your books at St. Thomas Public Library at 153 Curtis Street from Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. A return bin is available in front of the library for after-hours returns.

Will I get fines if my books/DVDs are overdue?

No! St. Thomas Public Library is now fine free! Read more about fine free library service here. You will be notified when your items are due for return. Please bring them back as soon as you are able. 

What about my holds or my interlibrary loans?

Holds you placed before the library closure will be kept for you. You will not lose your place and will be contacted when they become available for pickup.

Interlibrary loan (ILLO) is suspended at this time. ILLO requests will be processed when libraries across the province reopen and the ILLO service portal reopens.

Is the Holds Locker at Elgin Centre available?

Yes! Holds can be picked up from the Holds Locker. Place holds online or over the phone and specify pickup location. You will be notified when your holds are available. Please note, the return bin at Elgin Centre is NOT available at this time. Returns must be brought to St. Thomas Public Library’s downtown location so they can be properly sanitized.

How do I contact library staff?

Please call the library at 519-631-6050, email us at, or send us a message on Facebook!

How do I renew my library card?

To renew your library card, please contact us by phone at 519-631-6050 or by email at

How do I sign up for a library card to use digital resources like eBooks or databases?

To sign up for a new library card, please visit the library at 153 Curtis Street with photo ID, or fill out the form for a virtual card here:

What resources can I use digitally?

  • eBooks and eAudiobooks: available online through cloudLibrary. You will need a library card to sign out eBooks or eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet, or e-reader. Please call us if you need help at 519-631-6050.
  • Teen eBooks can also be found on Tumblebook Cloud.
  • Children’s eBooks can also be found on Tumblebook Library.
  • Adult eAudiobooks can also be found on Audiobook Cloud.
  • Digital Magazines: available online through Flipster
  • Online courses: free, college-level courses available through Gale Courses completely free with your library card!
  • Databases: available online.

How can I access all these digital resources?

They can be accessed for free from St. Thomas Public Library’s website. Just look under “Digital Collections”! Some may require a library card. If you need assistance, please call the library at 519-631-6050.

Am I able to use the library’s WiFi?

Yes! Our WiFi is available 24/7 and can be used from outside the building on personal devices. Two WiFi stations are also available inside the library on the upper level. These are available by appointment on a first-come first-serve basis. WiFi will reach to parking on the street in front of the library and to parking along the east side of the building. Please maintain a safe physical distance (6 feet or 2 meters) from others outside the building.

How is the library sanitizing spaces and materials?

Cleaning staff have worked during the closure on a deep clean of the library, including furniture and carpets.

To make sure library service is offered safely for our staff and patrons, we have put the following safety measures in place:

  • Staff are screened prior to starting work each day.
  • All books have been quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours upon return. All DVDs have been quarantined for a minimum of 86 hours.
  • Signage is in place detailing where to go.
  • We have clearly marked spots to stand in line that ensure you are 2 metres (6 feet) apart from staff and other patrons at all times.
  • We are regularly wiping down surfaces including doors and tables.

Are there at-home activities for families available at the library?

Our programs have gone digital for the time being! Check them out online here.

Some digital resources such as Tumblebook Library also have games and activities for children, as well as read-along books!