The FOPL Open Media Desk project is half-way through our third year.  Here’s what has happened to date and how you can participate as a FOPL member.

OMD is more than training.  It’s a collegial group that co-creates great communication pieces to an FP500 standard!  It’s a News Room, a source for articles, micro-videos, podcasts, and graphics.  It’s also a resource for province-wide benchmarks and measurements for success.  And it’s a dashboard window on Ontario’s libraries where we can co-create together and share creations, ideas and successes.

We have trained many, many groups of library staff in advanced social media engagement.  We do this for no charge for FOPL members.  It is a major benefit of FOPL membership and aligns with our mandate to increase the branding, marketing strength of public libraries in Ontario whilst promoting the value and economic of public libraries to Ontario residents – socially, economically, recreationally, and educationally.

We now have over 75 library systems on the program covering more than 75% of Ontario’s population!   Our goal is enroll every Ontario system! Social media is the most impactful and affordable way for us to connect with our public and cardholders to engage them in telling their stories of the impact and value of public libraries.  After the training, we have discovered massive increases in engagement with social media growth in the hundreds and thousands of percents.

In Summer 2018 we launched the OMD News Room.  We provide dozens of stories each week to help you populate your social media accounts and websites.  Sometimes these stories and graphics are just there for inspiration to support your marketers!

Here are some testimonials from our past cohorts who remain in the program through our private Facebook Group (  Ask to join if you’re a FOPL member.  It’s a great team of people dedicated to ensuring that the message about the awesomeness of public libraries gets outside our walls and bring people inside virtually and physically.

Brock Smith, Richmond Hill Public Library

Melanie Alderfer-Mowat, Vaughan Public Libraries

Mary Maw and Robert Simeon, Caledon Public Library

2019 Training Cohort Schedule:

Each cohort requires an investment of 2 hours weekly for 6 weeks.  They are done online using Zoom so you see your team and work through the projects and homework together.

Start Dates:

Tuesday January 8, 2019

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Tuesday March 25, 2019

Tuesday May 14, 2019

Tuesday June 25, 2019

Contact to register.

In 2019 we will also launch:

  1. A measurement tool that allows you to compare your social media and marketing success and compare your library to others.  We call this the LDii – Library Digital Impact Index.  Watch for more news soon.

2. An e-learning course that works on any platform or device!  For those of you who have trouble joining the 6-week commitment, we will launch early in 2019 an e-learning course that delivers the training we’ve found libraries need.  We call this eOMD!  Here’s a sample outline:

Lastly, all participants have access to:

  1. A provincial dashboard of their library’s social media and website metrics.
  2. A provincial metrics dashboard of all OMD participant library’s social media and website metrics.
  3. A weekly newsletter of usable stories, videos, and podcasts about public library impact and value.
  4. An archive of usable stories, videos, and podcasts about public library impact and value.
  5. Membership in a private FOPL OMD Facebook Group of OMD participants.

OMD News Room

The OMD News Room links are sent out weekly to our participant and CEO mailing list to share with marketing staff and public library members.


These are the links to our podcasts so far:
Julia Merritt, CEO Stratford Public Library and Chair, FOPL
Nikolai and Myles, Millennials and the Public Library
Brendan Howley interviews Stephen Abram about the OMD Project

Archive of the short FOPL Get Out The Vote videos:



There are upcoming articles in 2019 about the OMD project in Computers in Libraries magazine as well as PLQ Public Library Quarterly.
If you’d like to register for the upcoming training sessions, please contact me and we’ll try to fit you in.

unsolicited testimonial 

Ruth Berry, Georgina PL
Your OpenMediaDesk training is the best I’ve training ever taken, for anything, anywhere. By far. Thank you.’

Article Archive to Issue 6:

FOPL microvideo.001,

TS Eliot became TS Eliot,

30 best places you love books,

Donna Tartt on the writing life,

NYT: restore civil society—start with the library,

Library card smartest card in your wallet (Belleville PL),

Open Future: Free-speech heroes,

NYT: time to dress up—NYPL’s ‘work fashion’ library, ,  

FOPL microvideo.001,

FOPL podcast.001 | Julia Merritt Stratford PL CEO,

Largest ever ‘dog read’ via GLL, UK social enterprise,

Well-being economics: free Springer Verlag e-book,

Ottawa PL: world of community benefits,

Bibliotherapy: power of words (Dublin City Council),

Investment in library: mayor of Calgary quoted in Guelph Mercury in letter to editor,

Five co-working spaces: libraries as incubators, ,  

FOPL microvideo.003,

FOPL podcast.002 | two millennial guys on the value of public libraries in age of ‘fake news’,

Library is a place of magic’ | JK Rowling via BBC,

‘The Library Book’ | book review,

Why do millennials love libraries so much?,

Pierce County libraries levy lift November (US) elections,

Libraries are democratic’ | cape Breton Post, ’libraries ensure wellbeing’,

Advocacy for Ontario Public Libraries: great ‘did you know?’ talking points,

What brands can learn from NYPL’s Instagram Stories, ,  

Calgary: one woman’s dream became a library,

New partnership: indigenous library services,

Greater Victoria Library: highest circulation rate in Canada,

Economic impact | Burlington PL,

Simply put, libraries are incredible,

Anne Herbert: ‘Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries’,

Lego libraries and bookstores,

Rebuilding Iraq’s libraries | NPR , ,  

Mary Shelley’s Frankensteiin | Mad Science TPL,

Library employees take up challenge to learn more about people different than them,

T.W. Paterson: Cherish libraries, museums, archives,

Overdrive-powered libraries have checked out over 1 billion ebooks and audiobooks,

Libraries may be the answer to what divides us | Jason Kucsma TEDx Toledo, ,  

The library is not a place, it’s a concept | Bill Ptacek | TEDxCalgary,

Doctors in Montreal prescribe visits to art museums,

Calgary’s new central library is stunning work of art,

“I didn’t know the library did that.” | Wizard Activist,

Library windows offer patrons opportunity to create lasting legacy,

How libraries helped me raise my son | Jeremy Adam Smith,

Calgary Central library’s Indigenous peacemaking project connects past, present, future,

Public Libraries | multiple solutions | Nate Hill,