Dear FOPL Members
OLA and the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL) participate annually in Ontario’s Pre-Budget consultation process.
As library leaders in key ridings, your active participation is crucial to our efforts. At this critical stage of the pre-Budget process, we are strongly requesting that you engage your local MPP and ensure that they are aware of the recommendations OLA & FOPL brought forward to this year’s Pre-Budget consultations, and to make certain that local MPPs understand the real impacts that these will have for the people in their community.
If you have not yet done so, we are encouraging you to urgently connect directly with your local MPP – whether at the library, their office, or by phone – no later than Friday, March 20th.
This year, in addition to our strong recommendation to maintain existing funding for Ontario’s public libraries, OLA & FOPL are recommending further investment that will make sure that all people in Ontario – no matter where they live – continue to have access to modern, cost-effective resources and services through their local public libraries.
Specifically, our Pre-Budget Submission is recommending that the Ontario government make an ongoing, multi-year investment to:
- Launch an Ontario Digital Public Library, which would leverage the province’s significant purchasing power to give all Ontarians access to a common set of online and e-learning resources through their public library, free-of-charge; and
- Complete the transformation of inter-library loan by supplementing existing provincial funding in order to ensure that local public libraries can fulfill the existing demand from people across Ontario, and address the historic imbalance for public libraries in Northern Ontario.
You can read OLA and FOPL’s full Pre-Budget Submission here.
1. Coordinate your team
- Quickly coordinate with other local public library leaders and your board about engaging your local MPP. If your MPP represents more than one public library, participating together will significantly increase the chances of communicating with them on short notice.
- Propose a meeting date with your local MPP
- Pick a local representative to invite the MPP. Be as flexible as possible about your availability for proposed dates, and clearly state the time sensitive nature of the request. You can use this Template Letter – Invitation to Meet
- Follow up immediately with a phone call to their local office. Be persistent – while their schedules are busy, you are an important local constituent they should want to hear from.
- Let OLA/FOPL know
- Send Stephen Abram at firstname.lastname@example.org and Sarah Roberts at email@example.com a quick message to let us know that you’ve reached out and/or scheduled your meeting.
- Meet/Host your event
- Key Messages: Use these key messages to guide your meeting or conference call
- OLA and FOPL’s Pre-Budget Submission: Print this to leave behind at your meeting, and send by email
- Post-Meeting Worksheet: take some time to reflect on your meeting and let OLA and FOPL now how it went
- Template Letter – Thank you: Send a letter thanking your MPP for the meeting.
If you are looking for more detailed tips, check out page 13 of OLA’s Advocacy Toolkit for guidelines on how to meet with your local representative.
6. FOPL has drafted a supportive resolution for our FOPL/OLA “ASK”. If your Board or Municipal Council can move this forward and send it in, that would be great! Find it here: https://fopl.ca/news/sample-municipal-resolution-supporting-provincial-public-library-funding/