FOPL attended the AMO Conference in Ottawa as a tradeshow exhibitor. We were able to speak with over 260 councillors, mayors, and Chief Administrative Officers. Our main messages here, like at AMCTO earlier in the summer, were to promote the importance of keeping public library boards independent and share the value impact of public libraries within their communities. We found that attendees were interested and invested in their public libraries and wanted to learn more about our sector’s priorities. Thank you to Ottawa Public Library for providing extra support and technology. Our Marketing and Communications Working Group created a video that included submissions from our various members to showcase that various ways our libraries contribute to their communities across the province. That video can be viewed and downloaded for your own promotional used here, on our website. We will be continuing our municipal level advocacy by looking for opportunities at the ROMA and FOMON Conferences in the upcoming winter and spring.

Provincial level advocacy continues. FOPL, OLA and Counsel Public Affairs have been working on a Government Relations Action Plan to guide our efforts for the new few years. This plan, made with recommendations from Counsel Public Affairs and input from OLA and FOPL, reflects the re-election of Premier Ford’s PC Party government to a second majority mandate. It recognizes that the Conservatives were the only party not to commit to any of FOPL and OLA’s recommendations for the public library sector and therefore balances the re-elected governments priorities alongside our own. We will be sharing with our members once our plan has been finalized.

We have also been reaching out to newly appointed and returning ministers and ministry staff. Our focus has been re-establishing our relationships with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Infrastructure. We have extended congratulations to the new Minister Neil Lumsden and look forward to meeting with him in the future to discuss our sector’s priorities.