Ottawa Public Library – services and virtual events

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day! To recognize this important day, Ottawa Public Library (OPL) in collaboration with the City of Ottawa and other Indigenous community organizations is hosting a series of virtual events on the theme of resilience. Orange Shirt Day honours Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools in Canada. To mark this day, you are invited to show solidarity by wearing an orange shirt and being part of the various national conversations. 

The OPL celebrates this opportunity to raise awareness among youth and the general public of the history of Indigenous people in Canada and the social and historical significance of the residential school system. Participate in Orange Shirt Day through the Library’s virtual activities – teens and young adults will enjoy an exciting live musical performance at 6 pm with rapper Samian, born in Pikogan, a small Indigenous community in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Near sunset, at 7 pm, join in the conversation with experts from the Legacy of Hope Foundation at a virtual round table. In addition to all these virtual activities, the Library’s collection includes a variety of resources on Orange Shirt Day and Indigenous culture that you can browse from the Indigenous web page

Effective Thursday, October 1, OPL will be returning to some of its regular holds procedures. Holds will be kept on the shelves for 7 days, instead of the current 14 days. The $1 restocking fee will once again apply for items on hold that are not picked up before their expiry date. The holds limit will increase to 100 physical items for each customer. 

Also starting on Thursday, October 1, the Library will be returning to a As of Thursday, October 1, OPL will return to a 21-day loan period for items from the regular collection. Late fees for items were suspended in March and will continue to be suspended until the end of 2020. Due dates will not be extended beyond September. Library items coming due can be returned to one of OPL’s 22 open branches during operational hours or to the Bookmobile, on its modified schedule. For additional details on current Library services, please visit

The Library is also cooking up some virtual cooking demonstrations featuring several local chefs! The comfort food sessions OPL has in stock can help stretch your grocery budget further and add new zest to your cooking routine. So, gather up your pots, pans, utensils and spices, and follow along with local food experts to learn how to make these scrumptious dishes: (Recipes will be sent to all who register prior to each demo.) 

In addition, the Library boasts a huge collection of recipe books for whenever you are looking to broaden your cooking repertoire. You will find plenty of amazing dishes to make for Thanksgiving, Halloween or tomorrow! 

We’ve all been facing changes and challenges in our lives in recent months. When faced with a crisis or problem, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the things that feel far beyond your control. Developing resilience can help you cope adaptively and bounce back after stress caused by changes, challenges, and setbacks.  Since each of us reacts differently to stress and to trauma, it is essential to learn multiple techniques for enhancing resilience. The OPL has invited three professional speakers to share their advice and learnings about building and increasing resiliency. There are two English evening talks and one in French.

Emotional Resiliency and COVID: An Intergenerational Indigenous ApproachSpeaker: Waneek Horn-Miller – October 6 at 7:00 pm 

Waneek Horn-Miller is a bear clan Mohawk and mother of three. As one of Canada’s few Indigenous Olympians, Waneek has used her passion and experiences in sport to influence Indigenous and non-Indigenous leadership towards making sport and wellness a community-building priority.  She feels particularly deeply at this time that she is lucky to have come from a culture that values elders and she will share her own mother’s guidance.  She has traveled extensively throughout North America as a motivational speaker sharing her journey from the front lines of the Oka Crisis to the Olympics with indigenous and non-indigenous audiences. 

Le sprint de la vie!Speaker : Bruny Surin (présenté en français)October 20 at 7:00 pm 

A talk on motivation and leadership, Bruny Surin will tell us of the difficulties he faced and the sacrifices he had to make to become the athlete we know today. A four-time Olympian and part of the gold medal winning 400-metre relay team from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, Bruny draws on his own experiences to inspire others. Despite all the obstacles he faced, he never gave up. He believes that perseverance is the key to success and sees his track record as a source of motivation. Bruny has an impressively positive attitude and is widely considered a hero of Canadian sports history. 

Resiliency and Dealing with ChangeSpeaker: Peter KatzOctober 27 at 7:00 pm 

Peter Katz is a JUNO-Nominated Musician & Storyteller.  Peter has evolved from a nervous first-timer at an open mic night into to a JUNO Award, Canadian Screen Award, and two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominated singer-songwriter with five albums under his belt.  A gifted storyteller, Peter infuses his presentations with songs that inspire audiences to create their own path, overcome obstacles, and find success in whatever they desire. As a speaker, Peter is a four-time TEDx fellow, who has given countless talks and workshops across Canada.

For more information on these virtual series or to register for any or all virtual programs, visit


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