May 18, 2022

Public Libraries: Far Fewer Toronto Library Customers Fail to Pick Up Holds

From the CBC:

Toronto’s library system has seen a dramatic drop in the number of people failing to pick up requested materials since a new fee system was brought in last summer.

Until July of last year, library users didn’t have to pay if they didn’t pick up the holds that came in for them.

But the library changed that policy in part because of the hundreds of thousands of books, DVDs and other media that were sitting on shelves waiting for someone to claim them each year.


According to [Katherine] Palmer [Toronto Public Library’s director of planning, policy and e-service delivery] the library saw some 192,970 holds left on shelves from last September through June of this year.

That may seem like a lot, but Palmer said it’s less than a third of the 607,498 held items that were not picked up during the same period the year before.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.