Investing in Ontario's Public Libraries
New Fund to Improve Access to Digital Services and Encourage Innovation
Ontario is investing in public libraries through the new Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund.
The province is providing $10 million over three years, as announced in the 2014 Budget, to help public libraries better meet the needs of Ontarians by improving IT resources.
The fund will help libraries improve and expand internet and wireless services, develop user-friendly websites, enhance collection development with new technology, such as e-books, and encourage innovation and research.
Supporting communities through strong public libraries is a cornerstone of Minister Coteau's responsibilities, as outlined in his mandate letter.
Ensuring Ontarians have access to digital resources is essential in today's knowledge economy and supports the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- There are almost 1,100 public library service points across Ontario and more than 72 million in-person visits each year.
- Since 2003, the Ontario government has committed over $474 million in funding, including capital funding for public and First Nations libraries.
- Ontario Public Library Week was first announced by the province in 1985. This year’s event takes place from October 19-25, 2014.
“Public libraries support and encourage literacy, lifelong learning and cultural development across the province and are an important part of building strong, vibrant communities. The new Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund will build on the great work being done by our public libraries by supporting important research and innovation and by making services even better.”
“The province’s investment is a welcome one for public libraries and the communities they serve. By helping to fund improved digital access at our public libraries, the Ontario government is investing in equipping people with the necessary tools to thrive in an increasingly knowledge-based economy.”