Regular hours resumed Sept. 7, 2021


Ottawa Public Library has returned to regular pre-pandemic hours at most branches as of September 7, 2021 — including Sunday hours at 10 branches and InfoService. Hours are posted at branch entrances and on the Hours and location page of the OPL website.   


Alta Vista branch: Return to regular hours and service


Alta Vista branch has returned to regular service and hours on October 22, 2021.

Carp Branch


Carp branch will be closed on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 for operational use by the City of Ottawa. Regular service will resume Wednesday,  October 27, 2021 at 10 am. 

Overdrive: Issues with older Apple devices or browsers


Recent changes by Overdrive and Libby have impacted compatibility with older versions of Apple's mobile and desktop operating systems. Those who use older Apple devices (Mac computers running lower than macOS 10.12.1 and iPhones/iPads running iOS 9) may have trouble using the OverDrive desktop or mobile apps, while Libby is no longer supported on iPhones and iPads running iOS 9.

Carlingwood branch: Elevator out of service


The elevator at Carlingwood branch is currently out of service. 

You are here

Pandemic Parenting

mother adjusting a face mask on her daughter.

Children of all ages and their parents are feeling the social effects of COVID-19. Some families may be feeling isolated, bored and uncertain about the future. Children might feel afraid or sad about how their world has changed so quickly.  Parenting can be difficult at the best of times but now it seems to be an ever-changing challenge.  Here are some resources put together by Ottawa Public Library staff to help parents and caregivers support the young people in their lives.

City of Ottawa: Apply for Childcare

Emergency child care for eligible health care and essential frontline workers. 

Ottawa Public Health: Resources for those pregnant and parenting during COVID-19

Ottawa Public Health provides local information on dealing with the challenges of being apart from family and friends. This site has helpful, practical tips on explaining the virus, physical distancing and hand washing to children. There is an excellent FAQ page that covers the questions that come up day to day with all ages about COVID-19. 

Government of Ontario: COVID-19 support for students and parents

Get information about reopening schools and child care centres, and find resources to support students during COVID-19. 

Government of Canada: COVID-19 resources for parents and children

Families across the country are facing new challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic affects our daily work and home routines. Children, just like adults, play an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Use these resources to help your child understand what's going on and how they can help.

WHO: #HealthyAtHome Campaign

Working with international partners, the WHO brings you content to open the world of COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) is an international organization with members from more than 150 countries, that come together to promote equal access to health for everyone. This website offers ideas and resources to support projects that will engage children in understanding coronavirus, the challenges it brings to their world, and what can be done to protect them. 

UNICEF: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guide for parents

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your child. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought with it new challenges for families across the globe. UNICEF Parenting is here to be your partner in navigating this health crisis by providing you with accurate, reliable information on the best ways to keep your family safe.

Canadian Paediatric Society

The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national organization of pediatricians working together to advance the health of Canadian children and youth. This site has articles on COVID-19 and how it is affecting other medical conditions such as diabetes, ADHD and anxiety disorders. There are practical articles about topics such as the safe use of hand sanitizer by children. 

Canadian Psychological Association

Do you find working from home a challenge? Here are practical tips to make working from home with children a bit easier. The Canadian Psychological Society is the largest national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada.  

Canadian Red Cross

Feeling stressed by working at home, while looking after children? The Canadian Red Cross provides self-care tips for parents working at home with solutions to the challenges of an abrupt workplace change. Tips are included for helping families cope during the pandemic, including links to activities for children. 

Kids Help Phone

Get the facts on the novel coronavirus with Kids Help Phone, a 24/7 national support service. This national volunteer-led organization offers phone, text and live chat counselling services to young people in both English and French. Find information here about how to support the young people in your life. There are also tips for kids on how to cope with social distancing and concerns about school.  

Resource List

Handling Family Stress - the e-book editionby SandraH_Library

Those of us with families at home are facing a unique set of challenges. Not only do we have to manage our own stress, but we have others to help. These books are geared to different age groups, and can help family members help each other.

  • Image: Happy


    By Edwards, Nicola
    "A perfect bedtime read, this picture book gently encourages children to explore the senses and discover their path to mindfulness. "Mindfulness is all about connetion with ourselves and the world around us." This poetically-written introduction to mindfulness touches upon the most important aspects of life—feeling, discovering, smelling, listening, and all the things that bring the world to life. With every soothing read and practice, children are better equipped to understand and control their own emotions...and diiscover an appreciation for the beautiful world around them."
  • Image: Keep Calm!

    Keep Calm!

    My Stress-busting Tips
    By Bellisario, Gina
    "Anna is one busy girl! She plays soccer and takes piano lessons. She has homework and chores. Sometimes she feels stressed. How can she get everything done? Anna's parents show her several ways to deal with stress. When she tries them, she shrinks her stress and feels better!"
  • Image: Mindful Games

    Mindful Games

    Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation With Children, Teens, and Families
    By Greenland, Susan Kaiser
    "Mindful play is a great way for kids to develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion. Here are fifty simple and accessible games that can bring mindfulness to your daily routine. These delightful games, developed and tested over many years of working with children and their caregivers, are designed for kids, but they can be just as fun and transformative for adults!"
  • Image: Mindful Movements
    "Thich Nhat Hanh teaches "meditations in motion" which is a series of gentle exercises created specifically to cultivate a joyful awareness of the body and breath."
  • Image: 10 Mindful Minutes

    10 Mindful Minutes

    Giving Our Children the Social and Emotional Skills to Lead Smarter, Healthier, and Happier Lives
    By Hawn, Goldie
    "Across the country, the revolutionary MindUP program, developed under the auspices of the Hawn Foundation, established by Goldie Hawn, is teaching children vital social and emotional skills. By understanding how their brains work, children discover where their emotions come from and become more self-aware. They learn to appreciate the sensory aspects of their lives and to value the positive effects of mindfulness, compassion, and kindness. This, in turn, empowers them to manage and reduce their own stress--and helps them be happy. Those who have seen the effects of this program have been eager to learn how to implement it in their own homes and use its practices for themselves, too. Here, for the first time, its secrets are being shared with all parents and children."
  • Image: The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

    The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

    How to Let Go of Excessive Stress, Anxiety and Worry, and Raise Happy, Healthy, Resilient Families
    By Ortner, Nick
    "Through the use of easy-to-follow diagrams, links to step-by-step videos and dozens of Tapping tips, The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers offers an easy-to-use resource to help solve many of the emotional and social challenges that families deal with on a daily basis."
  • Image: Growing up Mindful

    Growing up Mindful

    Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience
    By Willard, Christopher
    "A guide to introducing mindfulness into the lives of children and teenagers. Growing Up Mindful helps parents, educators, and counselors learn how to embody and share the skills of mindfulness that will empower our children with resilience throughout their lives. Includes more than 75 accessible exercises and practices."
  • Image: Freeing your Child From Anxiety

    Freeing your Child From Anxiety

    Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for for Life--from Toddlers to Teens
    By Chansky, Tamar E.
    "Childhood should be a happy, carefree time. Yet too many children are stressed-out and exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. In Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, childhood anxiety expert Dr. Tamar Chansky shares a proven approach for helping children build emotional resilience for a happier and healthier life. Parents everywhere want to know: What is normal? How can you know when stress has crossed over into a full-blown anxiety disorder? How can you prevent anxiety from taking root? And how do you help your son or daughter break free from a pattern of fear and worry and lead a happy, productive life? Fortunately, anxiety is very treatable, and parents can do a lot to help get their children's emotional well-being back on track. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety contains easy, fun, and effective tools for teaching children to outsmart their worries and take charge of their fears."
  • Image: Teach your Child Meditation

    Teach your Child Meditation

    70 Fun & Easy Ways to Help Kids De-stress and Chill Out
    By Roberts, Lisa
    "This fun, hands-on guide is designed to build skills through meditation and breathing exercises that can help kids reduce stress, calm down, relax, and more."
  • Image: Be Mindful and Stress Less

    Be Mindful and Stress Less

    50 Ways to Deal With your (crazy) Life
    By Biegel, Gina
    "Simple mindfulness practices for teens that build self-esteem, grow compassion, and reduce stress. The demands and pressures of everyday life can really stress you out! School, work, relationships, social media, and the like can leave you pulled in so many directions it can make your head spin. When you need help fast, these simple accessible mindfulness-based practices will help bring you relief and ease right away. If you make these mindfulness and self-care practices part of your routine, you'll discover little life-hacks to get through even the toughest days."