Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

A traditional library practice is offering programs to the libraries’ residents. The earliest records we have from Ontario’s public libraries mention “classes offered.” Currently, the libraries offer a wide array of programs to the populations served by Ontario’s libraries.

Modern data on programs offered and attendance exist for 2000-2018. The data show large increases over the period in all three reported categories for programs indicating a successful initiative. Over time, there are more programs, more attendees, and the libraries are attracting a larger portion of their populations to them. The array of programs offered is rich: currently there is detailed information on twenty-two categories of programs by subject matter. 

Over this period, reported data show that these libraries—quietly and day after day—offered 3.2 million programs to 59.8 million Ontario residents and the percent of residents attending increased steadily over that period from 0.18 per capita in 2000 to 0.35 in 2018. The libraries attracted about twice the number of residents as a percentage from the beginning of the data to the latest data we have.