Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

What is FOPL? / Qu’est-ce que la FBPO?

le français suit

The Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL) represents Ontario’s over 400 public library systems exceeding 1,000 branches in virtually every Ontario community.

FOPL is governed by a 23-member Board made up of representatives from the following caucuses:

  • First Nations Caucus – 2 members
  • Francophone Caucus – 2 members
  • Large Urban Caucus – 6 members
  • Northern Caucus – 2 members
  • Rural Caucus – 2 members
  • Small / Medium Caucus – 4 members
  • Toronto (no caucus required) – 4 members

The Executive Director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries sits on the board as a non-voting member.

Each caucus is responsible for electing representatives to the Board for a 3-year term of office.  These memberships are staggered annually to ensure continuity for the Federation.  Once elected, Board members are expected to act in the interests of members as a whole.

The Board meets every three months to discuss the business of the Federation.  During the pandemic FOPL has met for shorter times, but more often in order to best support our public libraries during the pandemic. The Annual General Meeting is held during the Ontario Library Association Super Conference in Toronto.

Our Mandate

FOPL’s strategic focus includes Advocacy, Marketing, and Research & Development. These strategic roles are defined below:

Advocacy

As ONE VOICE, FOPL ensures issues facing public libraries are presented in a consistent manner benefiting all public libraries across Ontario. FOPL provides various levels of government with a view of public libraries as a united, relevant and integral component for economic and community development worthy of strong and continued support.

Marketing

To market and promote the services provided by public libraries in Ontario, to highlight the economic and social value public libraries contribute to the development of our communities, and to strengthen the support of funding bodies and the community at large.

Research and Development

Engage in research that provides insight into present and future environments, issues and developments facing public libraries. This reliable data can be used by public libraries as a base for strategic and operational planning and decision making, and to support advocacy efforts and marketing.

Accomplishments: 2020 & 2021

2020 was a rough ride, in any number of ways, and the Library sector has done an admirable job of staying the course. With your support and membership, FOPL has continued to be able to advocate for the government policies and resources that libraries need.

Highlights of the 2020 work include:

  1. FOPL effectively communicated with the MHSTCI regarding the needs of Libraries during the pandemic, achieving:
    • Formal ability for libraries to hold virtual Board meetings
    • The inclusion of Libraries in the early stages of re-opening, and inclusion of essential in-person library services through all scenarios from Green to the Grey “lockdown”
    • The early release of the PLOG and other funding streams
    • Entering the second Shutdown in December, we continued to advocate for the necessity of library services in supporting the community during the pandemic, as well as the longer-term role of libraries in facilitating province-wide access to digital infrastructure
  2. Throughout 2019-20, we successfully defended the continued inclusion of libraries in Bill 108, resulting in an increase in the amount of money that can be collected for libraries through development charges from 90% to 100%. The new regulations also preserve libraries’ ability to use development charge funds for IT and collection development purposes, maintaining the flexibility and usefulness of the funds.
  3. With a Trillium Grant, piloting a project called MINE: Mobile Information for Newcomer Employment. This project seeks to find new ways to connect libraries with New Canadians and facilitate improved employment and economic growth.
  4. The Open Media Desk has continued as a sustainable e-learning project for Library marketing staff to grow their storytelling & social media skills, as well as a shared resource for pandemic-related information, ensuring that libraries have current information to share with their users without duplicating efforts.
  5. FOPL has continued to work collaboratively with OLA and the OLSs, for maximum effect.

Preview of some of the 2021 work already under way:

  1. Expert guidance and training for members on development charges to come in 2021. Training and education on Provincial-level topics is part of FOPL’s current strategic plan and increased knowledge about development charges is essential for the many new CEOs to be able to advocate for their libraries when their municipalities draft new DC by-laws.
  2. With the release of the 2019 Annual Survey of Public Libraries data in December 2020, FOPL will be completing another entry in the FOPL Open Dataset series. Underpinning all our advocacy work with Province-wide data describing the trends, successes, and gaps in Ontario’s Public Libraries, this is a valuable report for all libraries. Statistical comparison reports for individual libraries available on request.
  3. Budget advocacy for 2021 continues; having avoided cuts in 2020, in partnership with OLA and our government relations firm we are focusing on increasing spending on an Ontario Digital Public Library and broadband infrastructure.  We are also keeping a close eye on any budgetary items related to ServiceOntario, OLS, schools, and digital initiatives.

While 2020 and 2021 had transitions for FOPL, the Board has now appointed Dina Stevens as the FOPL Executive Director and established three Project Teams to conduct evaluation and report back to the Board on recommended improvements.

Finally, many thanks are due to the Ontario library community for its ongoing support of FOPL – together we are building on the traditions of excellence and resilience in our sector.

 

Qu’est-ce que la FBPO?

La Fédération des bibliothèques publiques de l’Ontario représente plus de 400 systèmes de bibliothèques publiques de l’Ontario, soit au-delà de 1 000 succursales dans presque chaque communauté ontarienne.  

La FBPO est dirigée par un conseil d’administration composé de 23 membres qui représentent les caucus suivants :  

  • Caucus des bibliothèques de Premières Nations — 2 membres 
  • Caucus des bibliothèques francophones — 2 membres 
  • Caucus des bibliothèques des grands centres urbains — 6 membres 
  • Caucus des bibliothèques du Nord — 2 membres 
  • Caucus des bibliothèques ruraux — 2 membres 
  • Caucus des bibliothèques de petite et moyenne taille — 4 membres 
  • Toronto (aucun caucus requis) — 4 membres 

La directrice générale ou le directeur général de la Fédération des bibliothèques publiques de l’Ontario siège au conseil à titre de membre sans droit de vote. 

Chaque caucus est responsable d’élire leurs représentants au CA pour un mandat de trois ans. Ces mandats sont échelonnés annuellement afin d’assurer la continuité de la Fédération. Une fois élus, les membres du CA sont tenus d’agir dans l’intérêt des membres dans leur ensemble. Le conseil d’administration se rencontre tous les trois mois pour discuter des affaires de la Fédération. Pendant la pandémie, les rencontres de la FBPO étaient plus courtes mais plus fréquentes afin de mieux appuyer nos bibliothèques. L’Assemblée générale annuelle a lieu à Toronto lors de la Super Conference de la Ontario Library Association 

 

Notre mandat 

Les priorités stratégiques de la FBPO comprennent la sensibilisation, le marketing, et la recherche et le développement. Ces volets stratégiques sont définis comme suit :  

Sensibilisation 

En UNE SEULE VOIX, la FBPO veille à ce que les défis auxquels sont confrontées les bibliothèques publiques soient représentés de manière cohérente, ce qui profite à toutes les bibliothèques publiques de l’Ontario. La FBPO présente aux différents niveaux gouvernementaux une image des bibliothèques publiques en tant qu’un volet intégral, unifié et pertinent, du développement économique et communautaire digne d’un soutien solide et continu. 

Marketing 

La FBPO voit à la publicité et à la promotion des services offerts par les bibliothèques publiques de l’Ontario pour mettre la lumière sur la valeur économique et sociale qu’elles apportent au développement de nos communautés et pour renforcer le soutien des organismes de financement et de la communauté dans son ensemble.  

Recherche et développement 

La FBPO effectue des recherches qui permettent de mieux comprendre les environnements, les enjeux et les développements actuels et futurs auxquels font face les bibliothèques publiques. Les bibliothèques publiques peuvent utiliser ces données fiables comme base pour la planification et la prise de décision stratégiques et opérationnelles, et pour soutenir les efforts de sensibilisation et le marketing.