Jewish Public Library
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The stories we tell...
Update on COVID-19

To our JPL Community,
To paraphrase Charles Dickens, this is a difficult time and an inspiring time. The many stories of people rising to the occasion to help and serve are an extraordinary commentary on who we can be. For the JPL, the necessity of our even temporarily closing is very difficult as we pride ourselves on being there in critical times. Service and stewardship to our members, to our community, and to the most isolated and vulnerable, is core to who we are and who we aspire to be. But here we are, in the midst of this COVID-19 epidemic, and we wanted to update you on what is going on.
On March 13, through JPL Happenings, we sent out a communiqué indicating that, in accordance with guidelines issued by the City of Montreal, as well as those of the Government of Quebec, the JPL would be closed for two weeks. This turns out not to be accurate. The JPL is located in Cummings House, the FederationCJA building, which is currently closed to the general public. As to when the building will re-open, we are only able to say, at this point, that, given the uncertain nature of this situation, when we have further clarity, from Federation, we will get back to you. In the meantime, this note, and those that may follow, are intended to answer some questions that we anticipate you may have re JPL operations.
General Library Services
We are working to continue to provide some services to you, the current circumstances notwithstanding.
  • All memberships will be extended once the extent of the closure is known. Rest assured that we will do everything we can to ensure that everyone's membership is not adversely affected by the building's temporary closure. This will enable you to continue to access our eResources in the interim.
  • Overdue items can be returned when we re-open – overdue fees are waived.
  • Inter-library loan requests, placed before the Library closed, have been suspended temporarily but will resume immediately upon our re-opening.
  • For those of you who wish to support the JPL during these challenging times, general donations or tribute donations in honour, in memory or in celebration of a loved one can be made by visiting our 'Donate Now' page. Tax receipts will continue to be issued in a timely fashion.
The digital JPL
  • The JPL Sharon Steinberg e-book Collection remains available to you, online. New spring titles will be added soon.
  • Our members can still reserve new and forthcoming titles using our online catalogue
  • Reference services will be maintained, to the best of our ability under the current circumstances, via email.
Adult Events and Courses
  • Given the current environment of uncertainty, ALL events, programmes and courses are cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • Please rest assured that all those who have purchased tickets for events that have been cancelled or re-scheduled will receive a reimbursement upon request once we re-open.
  • For those events that have been postponed, we will keep you updated as to the dates for their re-scheduling.
Norman Berman Children’s Library
  • The JPL’s YA Festival, scheduled for May 24, is cancelled. We will be back next year.
  • Chapter Book Story Time will take place, online, for school aged children, on Tuesdays and Thursday at 1:00 pm
  • Sunday Story Time will take place online at 10:30 am.
  • This coming Sunday, March 22, story time will be followed by “Make Pancakes with Nicole” on Facebook Live.
  • On Monday, March 23, we will offer a guided Facebook Live Scavenger Hunt.

Resources for Inspiration
Please be certain to look for us on social media and to look for news and updates on this website.
Staying together to support each other
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our loyal donor friends and volunteers who have come forward in so many ways to support the JPL in these challenging times. At this point, the entire JPL team is focused on how we serve our members best, also making use of online resources to continue making connections and exchanging ideas to keep us together and in good spirits.
While the JPL staff and Board of Directors want to support you in every way that we can, most importantly, as we all face concerns about our health and well-being and, as we contend with the attendant economic challenges, we wish you strength and calm. Stay healthy and well. We are all very much in each other’s thoughts.
Michael Crelinsten
Executive Director


The Internet Archive is increasing access to its virtual library. Enjoy these books safely from your home! The National Emergency Library includes 1.4 million free books to meet students’ and readers’ needs while at home.
Browse the collection at