Starting on Monday, borrowed books can be dropped off at select boxes at Toronto Public Library locations across the city.

This is part of the Toronto Public Library’s (TPL) phased approach of resuming services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drop boxes at all remaining accessible branches will open for returns on June 1.

TPL estimates that there are more than one million items currently out on loan.

"Safely and carefully reopening our libraries to residents in this phased approach is another step in our journey to recovery and getting residents back to activities they engaged in prior to the pandemic,” Mayor John Tory said. “We look forward to reopening more programs and services in the coming weeks and months when our public health officials advise that it is safe to do so."

The reopening plan comes as the province announced last week that Ontario libraries are allowed to resume limited services. All library branches remain closed to the public for in-branch services.

As for checking out items, curbside pick-up is slated to begin at Toronto libraries in early June. Customers can continue to place holds online through the TPL website and pick-up their items once the service begins.

“We are all excited about this first step in the reinstatement of our services, with the introduction of curbside drop-off and pick-up of materials,” city librarian Vickery Bowles said. “It’s been so heartwarming to see the public excitement about this news. We know how many Torontonians rely on their library to stay connected, informed and engaged.”

TPL said library fines will continue to be suspended until regular service resumes.

Meanwhile, pop-up food banks at 11 TPL branches will be transitioned to other community partners as curbside pick-up begins. The food banks opened two months ago to help those in need during the pandemic and will continue to operate with no interruption to service.