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Resources for Ontario's public libraries

The American Library Association website includes diverse resources useful to the public library community.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations website provides information about the association, its services, events and publications.

Federation of Ontario Public Libraries strategic focus includes advocacy, research and development, marketing and consortia purchasing. The Federation ensures issues facing public libraries are presented to government in a consistent manner benefiting all Ontario public libraries.

The Sound Practices in Library Services to Aboriginal Peoples: Integrating Relationships, Resources and Realities (August 2009) provides information on First Nation public library services and public library services for Aboriginal people.  The report was commissioned by the Provincial / Territorial Public Library Council.

Funding for public libraries

Ontario Public Library Guidelines

These guidelines provide public libraries of all sizes with a framework for development, help in planning processes, improved accountability to taxpayers, equity of access to information for the public and secured funding.

They were developed and directed by the Ontario public library community to improve the quality of public library service across the province and address recommendations of the 1990 Ontario Public Library Strategic Plan by:

  • Improving our public library infrastructure so it connects libraries and enhances local service
  • Ensuring a uniform and strong public library infrastructure
  • Making a comprehensive improvement process available to public libraries that do not meet Guidelines requirements
  • Developing a voluntary accreditation process that recognizes the achievement of public libraries that meet Guideline requirements.

To earn a Certificate of Accreditation, a library's peers must evaluate it on guideline points (such as policy, planning, resources, and services), and award a score of 90 percent .

The Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council that directs the Guidelines program includes representatives from Ontario public library organizations, the Ontario Library Service agencies and the ministry. It is chaired by an Ontario public library community representative.

The Minister and Chair of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council co-sign Certificates of Accreditation and Re-Accreditation. Certificates are presented at the Ontario Library Association’s annual Super Conference. See the 2018 OLA Super Conference Accreditation Certificate Recipients.

The Ontario Library Association is Ontario's oldest and largest library association. The association provides opportunity for people in the library sector to associate, to meet,to share experience and expertise, and to create innovative solutions in a constantly changing environment.

The Ontario Library Service includes two non-scheduled agencies of this ministry: Ontario Library Service-North and the Southern Ontario Library Service. These agencies provide a wide range of support programs and services to public libraries throughout northern and southern Ontario, excluding Toronto, on behalf of this ministry. Their mandate is to:

  • Increase cooperation and coordination among public library boards and other information providers
  • Promote the provision of library services to the public by assisting public library boards with services and programs that reflect their needs, including consulting, training and development services.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website provides access to provincial information of a municipal nature (for example information on municipal restructuring orders). This information is useful to public libraries, as they are local boards of municipalities.

Third Generation Public Libraries

This report was commissioned by this Ministry to help it update its policy framework for supporting public libraries. It examines how visionary thinking and services could apply to Ontario's public libraries by 2020.

Other provincial public library resources