On February 6, 2024 I joined Minister Lumsden, Ministry officials, surrounding library CEOs and the lovely staff at the Gravenhurst Public Library as Minister Lumsden announced a $122,000 increase to the existing Internet Connectivity Grant! This new investment of funds will enable up to 155 of Ontario’s more rural, northern and First Nations Public Libraries to be fully reimbursed for their connectivity costs under the Internet Connectivity Grant.   This increase will provide the funding certainty these libraries need to maintain the crucial broadband lifeline for their communities.

(from left: Mellissa D’Onofrio Jones, CEO, Ontario Library Service – Minister Neil Lumsden, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport – Julia Reinhart, CEO, Gravenhurst Public Library – Heidi Lorenz, Mayor, Gravenhurst – Dina Stevens, Executive Director, Federation of Ontario Public Libraries – Minister Graydon Smith, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka – Michelle Arbuckle, Executive Director, Ontario Library Association)

This exciting announcement is hopefully just the first of more to come! Thank you to all of you for your collective efforts to date in meeting with your local MPPs, letters to the MTCS, deputations to the Standing Committee of Finance and in the myriad of ways that you advocate for your public library and the interest of all libraries across the province. Let’s keep the momentum going! We’re still going strong here at FOPL and I will be meeting with Minister Lumsden in the next month or so to talk about our provincial asks. Thank you again for all your support.

You can read the full announcement here.

Dina Stevens, Executive Director
Federation of Ontario Public Libraries