You Can Now Get Instant Access To The Toronto Public Library Online

Use Code TPL2020 to Get a Temporary Digital Library Card with OverDrive

April 15, 2020 | Wendy

Torontonians who don’t have a Toronto Public Library card can now access OverDrive, our largest collection of ebooks and audiobooks, with the new Instant Digital Card. This temporary card is available to people age 13 and older with a Toronto cell phone that can receive texts. New customers can enjoy this access until September 1, 2020.

What you’ll need:

  • Our campaign code: TPL2020
  • A cell phone, with a Toronto area code (416, 647 or 437), that can receive text messages
  • Either a computer with an internet connection, OR
  • A smartphone or tablet with one of OverDrive’s ereading apps:
      • Libby (most customers)
      • OverDrive (customers who use screen reader software)


How to register:

On a smartphone or tablet:

1. Download the Libby or OverDrive ereading app onto your smartphone or tablet.

2. Open the app and follow the prompt to enter your cell phone number.

On a computer:

  1. Go to and follow the prompt to enter your cell phone number.

After entering your cell phone number, on any device:

  1. You will receive a text message with a six-digit verification number. Enter the number.
  2. Complete your registration by entering your first and last names and the campaign code TPL2020.
  3. Start reading!

You can sign in again any time with your cell phone number as your login.


What you’ll get:

  • Access to our largest and most popular ebook platform, with thousands of ebooks and audiobooks
  • Collections for adults, children and teens
  • Small collections in French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Nearly 3,000 streaming videos
  • Borrow up to 30 items at a time, and place up to 30 holds

Not included:

Because this account is provided by OverDrive, it will not give access to our other online resources, such as Kanopy or Hoopla. (Note: We are actively working on launching full online registration in the near future, which will provide access to all our digital resources.)


Getting a full-access library card:

OverDrive digital library cards will expire September 1, 2020. You will receive a text message from OverDrive prior to expiry, inviting you to sign up for a permanent TPL card. You will need to visit a library branch in person to get one (or use the new online registration process, once it is implemented).


Your privacy:

If you sign up for a temporary OverDrive card, your full name and cell phone number will be stored on OverDrive’s servers. They will only be used for the purposes of providing access to OverDrive, as outlined in their privacy policy.


How to get help:

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF), fill out the online form at OverDrive Front Line Tech Support, or contact our Answerline service at

News release:

Read the full news release about our Instant Digital Card for more information and use statistics of our online collections during our closure.

Toronto Public Library Launches Instant Digital Card for Torontonians without Library Cards

April 16, 2020

New digital card provides access to TPL’s extensive eBook and eAudiobook Overdrive collection

Toronto Public Library (TPL) is pleased to announce the launch of an Instant Digital Card, which gives Torontonians who do not already have a library card, free, temporary access to OverDrive, TPL’s largest collection of ebooks and eaudiobooks. The Instant Digital Card is available to anyone 13 years old and older who has a cell phone with a Toronto area code (416, 647, 437) that can receive text messages. Residents can learn more and quickly register for an Instant Digital Card at

“While all Toronto Public Library branches are closed to support efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the use of our digital collections,” says City Librarian Vickery Bowles. “We’ve also heard from many residents who would like to borrow ebooks and eaudiobooks, but can’t because they don’t have a library card, and can’t come into our branches to get one. So we’re thrilled to be able to offer them a digital card that extends access to our largest collection of ebooks and eaudiobooks.”

The Library has shifted the spending of its collection budget to purchase more digital materials, given increased demand from library customers. “Use of our OverDrive collection is up 34% from before the closure,” says Susan Caron, Director of Collections and Membership Services. “So many people are using our OverDrive collection to stay engaged and entertained during this stressful time. The Library is pleased to provide easy, instant access to an outstanding ebook and eaudiobook collection that has something for every reading taste.”

All Instant Digital Cards will expire on September 1, 2020, after which users will be encouraged to register for a free, full-service, permanent Toronto Public Library card. The Library is currently working to implement online registration for a permanent TPL card, which will allow access to all TPL digital resources.

About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest urban public library system, with more than 46 million annual visits to our branches and online. We empower Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and knowledge economy through easy access to technology, lifelong learning, and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, where when and how our customers need us. To learn more, visit, email Answerline at or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and subscribe to email updates.


Media contact:
Toronto Public Library