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Holds resume at Toronto library branches as books put back into circulation

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The Toronto Public Library says borrowers will once again be able to place holds on books as it begins returning items back into circulation following a crippling cyberattack in the fall.

In a news release, TPL confirmed that its circulation system is starting to resume normal operations and new materials are also being added to shelves.

“This week, we have taken a huge step forward in our recovery efforts,” the library wrote.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been busy behind the scenes preparing to put more than one million items into circulation. We’ll soon start sending library materials, including holds, to branches.”

The library noted that in the coming weeks, “shelves at branches will look much fuller” and customers whose holds are now available will be notified.

Toronto Public Library (TPL) users have not been able to place holds on books, access their accounts, or use computers on site since the incident more than three months ago.

The Oct. 23 cyberattack led to the personal information of employees, including social insurance numbers and copies of government-issued identification, being stolen.

The library’s online catalogue, along with online accounts, are still unavailable but TPL said staff will help customers to place, manage, and cancel holds in the interim.

Staff at local branches can assist customers or alternatively, library goers can email answerline@tpl.ca or call 416-397-5981 for help.

“We continue to recover from a cybersecurity incident that disrupted all library systems and technology. Restoring systems and services across 100 library branches is a complex undertaking, and we’re making progress in our recovery efforts,” the library wrote.

“Keeping customers informed of this progress through regular communications is important.”

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