20 YEAR FUNDING FREEZE FOR ONTARIO PUBLIC AND FIRST NATIONS LIBRARIES ENDS
The Ontario government has recognized OLA and FOPL’s joint recommendations and is making a strong investment in public and First Nations libraries.
This three-year commitment includes,
- $28 million over three years to create a Digital Public Library that will provide “access to digital content such as ebooks, music and audiobooks; research databases; special collections; and
- $51 million over three years – $17 million annually – to increase the Public Libraries Operating Grant (PLOG), with a particular recognition of the role of public libraries as community hubs.
This investment represents the first increase to annual base funding for Ontario public libraries since 1996, marking the end of a two decades long funding freeze and providing critically-important, sustainable funding for public libraries throughout Ontario.
This budget also includes an additional $500 million over three years to expand broadband internet in rural and Northern Ontario, including $20 millions for satellite-based broadband for remote communities.
You can read the full budget here. Find attached OLA & FOPL’s Press release here.
FOPL and OLA would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the Ontario Library Community for so actively articulating the need for increased support to libraries. Your collective voice made a difference and we are pleased to report that we have been heard!
We would specifically like to thank our Library Day at Queen’s Park (November 23) delegation who began the conversation with MPPs, Ministers, and Policy Advisors and the members who met locally with their MPP’s and key ministers to in support of OLA and FOPL’s Pre-Budget Submission.
A big thank you to the more than 25 library boards and city councils that passed resolutions in support of increased funding, ensured that the media picked up the story, and sent the resolutions to the Ontario Government.
We would also like to thank Counsel Public Affairs, our government relations firm who advised us on the process and ensured our message had profile at Queen’s Park.
The work you all do in every type of library is crucial to the well-being of Ontarians and this funding announcement is a recognition of this.
Our work is not over yet!
We suggest you send a letter of thanks to the Honourable Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Honourable Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and theHonourable Eleanor McMahon, President of the Treasurery Board & Minister Responsible for Digital Government.
OLA will continue to work with the Ministry of Education in support of school libraries.
Getting Ready for the 2018 Provincial Elections
We have a provincial election coming up and our challenge will be to continue to engage decision makers of the value of libraries and why this budget increase is crucial for communities.
OLA, FOPL, OLS-N, and SOLS will be releasing an election tool-kit for libraries by mid-April. Stay tuned for more information soon!
Thank you everyone and celebrate this win!
Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director OLA & Stephen Abram, Executive Director FOPL
Sarah Roberts, MI
Advocacy & Research Officer
Ontario Library Association
Tel: 416-363-3388 x231