Bill 132: FOPL & OLA Survey of Minimum Number of Library Board Meetings in Public Libraries Act

Bill 132 Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 (Omnibus red tape / burden reduction bill) Bill 132 – Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 – What Does it Mean for Public Libraries? On Oct. 28, 2019, the Ontario government tabled its proposed red tape and regulatory burden legislation. This included two proposed amendments to the Public Libraries Act impacting public library boards. If passed, the first amendment would give permanent residents, in addition to Canadian citizens, the opportunity to serve as public library board members. This amendment would provide Ontario’s library boards with a larger and more diverse pool of potential board members. This will enable public library boards across the province to welcome new voices, increase diversity & inclusion in our community leadership, and help them better respond to the evolving needs of the communities they serve. The second proposed amendment would reduce the minimum number of meetings a public library board is required to hold each year. Bill 132 proposes to reduce the minimum number of meetings to 4 per year (from the current minimum of 10). Our understanding is that the intent of this amendment is to provide more flexibility for public library boards to determine the appropriate number of meetings needed for their local circumstances. Public library boards will still be able to hold regular meetings more frequently than the mandatory minimum, and can also declare special and emergency meetings accordingly as set out under the Public Libraries Act. As the bill proceeds for debate in the Ontario Legislature, the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries is interested in feedback from the library sector on... read more