Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Revised FOPL Board Working Groups: Call for Volunteers

The Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (www.fopl.ca) is seeking member volunteers for our newly chartered Working Groups.  This posting provides background on our process, structure and strategic plan.  Most public libraries in Ontario are FOPL members and Working Group participation is limited to members’ staff or board trustees.

If you want to submit your name to participate or volunteer, please apply to Stephen Abram, MLS, executive director, FOPL. sabram@fopl.ca 

Background:

At our June 9, 2017 FOPL Board of Directors meeting the board continued its strategic planning deliberations as we seek to continue the success of FOPL’s strategy initiatives.

On Nov. 18, 2016, the Board approved a new FOPL Strategic Plan 2016-2020.  This plan is included below for your convenience.

Our goal in June 2017 was for the Board to  land on a structure to frame the next three years to execute our plan and frame our executive director’s performance goals (through to the 2020 goal of our strategic plan) at which point another review should be done.

As a reminder, the FOPL Board has worked with the following Task Forces from founding through 2017.

ADVOCACY TASK FORCE

As a single, strong voice, the Advocacy Task Force advocates on behalf of all Ontario public libraries with all levels of government and with other stakeholders. It aims to increase awareness of the valuable contributions public libraries make to our communities, and to increase awareness of public libraries’ strategic directions and financial requirements.

MARKETING TASK FORCE

To develop professional marketing campaigns designed to increase awareness of the value and contributions public libraries bring to the development of our communities, and to serve as a means of engendering support of funding bodies and the community at large.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE

To provide insight into present and future environments, issues and developments facing public libraries, and reliable data upon which public libraries can base strategic and operational planning and decision-making. To provide research in support of advocacy efforts and marketing programs for public libraries.

The FOPL Board thanks and appreciates the fine work of these Task Forces.

Motion Number One:

To sunset all current Task Forces of the FOPL Board (with the exception of CELUPL) and thank the members of those groups for their service.

/passed

A robust discussion was had and the following motion passed:

Motion Number Two:

To strike the following four (4) new Working Groups of the FOPL Board and work to populate the chair and members by September 2017.

  1. Indigenous Library Partnerships Working Group
  2. Marketing and Communications Advisory Working Group
  3. Government Relations Working Group
  4. Library Provincial People Capacity Working Group

/passed

The following charters were adopted at FOPL’s June 9, 2017 Board Meeting:

  1. Indigenous Library Partnerships Working Group

Mandate: All indigenous public libraries in Ontario are twinned with another non-indigenous public library for the purposes of potentially sharing knowledge, resources, and programming.  The FOPL strategy to provide a forum for inter-library system cooperation and collaboration will be led and advised by a small team (this working group) that ensures progress and sharing.  The entire group is connected in a private Facebook Group.

Charter:

  • To provide member-driven focus to our and CFLA’s (FOPL is a member) truth & reconciliation agenda to ensure the long term success of all public libraries in Ontario to serve Ontario residents
  • To provide a forum for our First Nation public libraries and their sponsors / twinned libraries to collaborate
  • To generate frameworks, ideas and track initiatives, and share and diffuse these ideas for adoption across Ontario.

Power:

  • This group works through consensus. A majority of votes is needed to pass on reports or recommendations to the Board.
  • The group can access mailing lists and the Facebook Group for communication at the FOPL office.
  • A small budget will be put into each annual FOPL budget for the activities of the Working Group. Additional budget may be requested for special projects.

Reporting:

  • This Working Group’s Chair report to the Board through the Executive Director.
  • An Annual Report is prepared for the Board and the Annual Business Meeting.

Membership / Size:

  • 6 members, half of whom should be from Indigenous library settings
  • Plus the Executive Director as an ex-officio member
  • Members serve for three years and may be appointed for another three at which point their term ends.
  1. Marketing and Communications Advisory Working Group

Mandate: Our goal as FOPL is to communicate the value and impact of public libraries.  This working group will set up and build collaborative strategies and spaces for accomplishing this goal.

  • Coordinate and assist in the implementation of strategic marketing for Ontario Public Libraries
    1. Be recognized as the trusted single voice of Ontario Public Libraries
    2. Inspire and mobilize the library community
    3. Develop and provide research to inform marketing initiatives
    4. Develop province-wide social media marketing campaign tools
    5. Pursue partnerships beyond traditional library partners such as AMO, school boards, vendors and media
    6. Collaborate to create consistent promotional messaging for use by Public Libraries

Charter: Our key initiative is the OpenMediaDesk social media strategy.  As of June 2017 we have coverage of a range of FOPL members representing almost 50% of Ontario’s population.  We expect to continue this project for another year and are preparing for running it independently in year 3 and beyond.  The entire group is managed through a number of virtual team tools and represents a significant training investment and huge improvement in the marketing capacity of Ontario’s libraries.  The entire group is connected in a private Facebook Group. They will:

  • Make progress on gaining more trained libraries across the province in a diverse action by size and focus of library.
  • Increase momentum and address the key stories of value and impact.
  • Align with FOPL’s government relations goals and strategies as well as improve the knowledge and perception of the PUBLIC in Ontario about public libraries.

Power:

  • This group works through consensus. A majority of votes is needed to pass on reports or recommendations to the Board.
  • A budget will be put into each annual FOPL budget for the activities of the Working Group and OpenMediaDesk. Additional budget may be requested for special projects.

Reporting:

  • This Working Group’s Chair report to the Board through the Executive Director.
  • An Annual Report is prepared for the Board and the Annual Business Meeting.

Membership / Size:

  • 7 members (All trained OpenMediaDesk public library marketing focused professionals)
  • Plus the Executive Director as an ex-officio member
  • Members serve for three years and may be appointed for another three at which point their term ends.
  1. Government Relations Working Group

Mandate: Positively influence legislation and government initiatives impacting Ontario Libraries

  • Build relationships with provincial elected officials and civil service to influence government policy and practices
  • Collaborate with other library associations, organizations and agencies to lobby for public libraries in provincial political arena such as Library Day at Queen’s Park
  • Support members’ libraries efforts in municipal government advocacy
  • Support First Nations libraries with national and provincial advocacy
  • Remain agile to enable timely response to emerging issues and opportunities
  • Act as a conduit for government to supply information to Public Libraries

Charter: This committee will advise on 2018 provincial budget and beyond and election strategies.  They support FOPL’s work with CFLA on national priorities.  They will also support our initiatives including the 2017 Library Day at Queen’s Park, work with our lobbying firm on government relations initiatives, craft message and suggest new initiatives (AMO, ROMA, etc.).  We may also plan an inter-ministerial summit again.

Power:

  • This group works through consensus. A majority of votes is needed to pass on reports or recommendations to the Board.
  • A small budget will be put into each annual FOPL budget for the activities of the Working Group. Additional budget may be requested for special projects.

Reporting:

  • This Working Group’s Chair report to the Board through the Executive Director.
  • An Annual Report is prepared for the Board and the Annual Business Meeting.

Membership / Size:

  • 5 members
  • Plus the Executive Director as an ex-officio member
  • Members serve for three years and may be appointed for another three at which point their term ends.
  1. Library Provincial People Capacity Working Group

Mandate: Provide Ontario’s Public Libraries with professional training and development in the context of FOPL’s role and alliances.

  • Coordinate training opportunities such as seminars, workshops, symposia, and webinars
  • Collaborate in creation of trustee training tools
  • Share expertise at professional conferences and events such as OLA Super Conference and Marketing Think Tank, Community Led ThinkTank, AILP, etc.
  • Build consensus in the Ontario Public Library community
  • Increase awareness of professional development grant and subsidy opportunities

Charter: In alliance, to ensure that the human resources capacity of our sector is prepared for the environment of 2020 and beyond.

Power:

  • This group works through consensus. A majority of votes is needed to pass on reports or recommendations to the Board.
  • A small budget will be put into each annual FOPL budget for the activities of the Working Group. Additional budget may be requested for special projects.

Reporting:

  • This Working Group’s Chair reports to the Board through the Executive Director.
  • An Annual Report is prepared for the Board and the Annual Business Meeting.

Membership / Size:

  • 5 members
  • Plus the Executive Director as an ex-officio member
  • Members serve for three years and may be appointed for another three at which point their term ends.

FOPL Strategic Plan, 2016-2020

At our FOPL Board of Directors Meeting on Nov. 18, 2016 the Board approved a new strategic plan for FOPL.

Aligned with this plan are the performance goals of the executive director as well as our collaborative activities with our Libraries 2025 partnerships.

Here’s the plan!:

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Federation of Ontario Public Libraries Strategic Plan 2016-2020, Final Draft

Vision:  One Voice for Ontario’s Public Libraries

The purpose of the Federation is to support and advocate furthering Ontario public libraries and the communities they serve. In order to further strengthen and improve the provision of public library service, the Federation will act in a cooperative manner with other affiliated library organizations to market public libraries’ value and collaboratively, coordinate opportunities to build people capacity within Ontario’s public libraries. To ensure sustainability, the Federation will increase organizational resiliency.

Strategic Objectives and Initiatives 2016-2020

1. Advocacy & Influence Working Group

Positively influence legislation and government initiatives impacting Ontario Libraries

  1. Build relationships with provincial elected officials and civil service to influence government policy and practices
  2. Collaborate with other library associations, organizations and agencies to lobby for public libraries in provincial political arena such as Library Day at Queen’s Park
  3. Support members’ libraries efforts in municipal government advocacy
  4. Support First Nations libraries with national and provincial advocacy
  5. Remain agile to enable timely response to emerging issues and opportunities
  6. Act as a conduit for government to supply information to Public Libraries

2. Marketing Public Library value and Impact  Working Group

Coordinate and assist in the implementation of strategic marketing for Ontario Public Libraries

  1. Be recognized as the trusted single voice of Ontario Public Libraries
  2. Inspire and mobilize the library community
  3. Develop and provide research to inform marketing initiatives
  4. Develop province-wide social media marketing campaign tools
  5. Pursue partnerships beyond traditional library partners such as AMO, school boards, vendors and media
  6. Collaborate to create consistent promotional messaging for use by Public Libraries

3. People Capacity: Training & Development Working Group

Provide Ontario’s Public Libraries with professional training and development

  1. Coordinate training opportunities such as seminars, workshops, symposia, and webinars
  2. Collaborate in creation of trustee training tools
  3. Share expertise at professional conferences and events such as OLA Super Conference and Marketing Think Tank
  4. Build consensus in the Ontario Public Library community
  5. Increase awareness of grant and subsidy opportunities

4. FOPL Organizational Resilience Working Group

Increase organizational resiliency

  1. Seek alternate sources of funding to ensure fiscal stability
  2. Grow and retain membership through increased member engagement
  3. More effectively and more frequently communicate with individual members and FOPL caucuses
  4. Increase involvement and contribution of FOPL committees and task groups
  5. Overcome challenges of diversity and geography
  6. Develop a succession plan for Executive Director and Administrative Assistant”
Julia Merritt
Chair, Federation of Ontario Public Libraries
Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLA

Executive Director, Federation of Ontario Public Libraries